I have spent most of the day playing with my new toy. A scanner with the ability to scan negatives and slides and magically turn them into pictures of my past. Amongst the old photographs, I found this girl.

Cider Girli

I can’t stop staring at this picture. I know it’s me, but it seems so far away. Where did she go, that wisp of a 17 year old who had no cares, no worries, no mortgage and her whole life ahead of her just waiting to unfold, dreams that could still become realities. One day. It didn’t matter that she drank and smoked, because she could stop those things. One day. It didn’t matter that she is apparently living in a squat (she wasn’t), it didn’t matter that she had no job and no money, because she could get those. One day.

If the person taking the photo had told her that 23 years from then she would be married to a police officer and getting made redundant from her job of ten years with the police she would have laughed right in their face. “Sure thing”, she would have said taking a pull on her cigarette and a swig from her cider can, “‘cept I won’t live past 29! Live fast, die young, yeah!”

I’d like to sit there in her skin again, just for a moment, remember what it felt like to be her. Then I’d run a mile from her turmoiled, hormone fueled, teenage crazy brain, and settle somewhere about my early thirties.