The case of the flying monkey

Have you ever felt like you were a monkey performing in a circus for all to see? I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, I feel like wherever I go, whoever I meet, people look at me and expect to see a flying monkey.

Recently, I was back in Belgium, back home, and I was astounded by how often people wanted to know “all about me“. Sure, I’m sort of living in the UK now – the hotel life, that is – and it’s a new job and I guess that’s fun to talk about. I am equally interested in my friends and how they are adjusting to these gruelling 20s. However… All of a sudden, I am considered to be interesting. I’ll ask a question, but the topic will be reverted back to me because I am, for all intents and purposes, interesting! All because of the sorta living abroad thing.

It’s bizarre really, I never used to be interesting. I used to poke fun at my hermitlike lifestyle where I revelled in my uneventful ponderings about anything I could think of. But now, all of that has changed and people expect me to talk about crazy adventures and amazing experiences. They have come to see a flying monkey and they expect to get their money’s worth! And if you’d think I’d be safe from these expectations when I arrived back in the UK, you are dead wrong sir! Now, it’s more a matter of “Oh you were home, how many friends did you see, how many awesome parties did you go to and how kickass was it?” And that is, of course, a typical case of flying monkeyism to which I measure up to in the most abysmal way. Because though I did see quite a few friends – and omgosh yes, it truly was so amazing to catch up and to just “be home” – the majority of my days I saw my precious bedlinen again around 11pm at the latest. Behaviour which does not a flying monkey make, at least not in the eyes of most of the beholders.

So today, I am saying it loud: I am a grandma, and I am proud.

I love wrapping myself up in a cocoon at night, so that I can be like a warm little caterpillar tucked away while dreaming. I enjoy tea times with friends more than I like going out to party. I cannot remember the last time I was drunk, though I do remember not being very good at it. I long for fuzzy blankets, woollen socks, oversized sweatshirts and the comfort of a hot water bottle. In my mind, there’s nothing better than enjoying a good conversation with a close friend while being chilled out on the couch. And one day I want to become very good at knitting. So yes, I am a grandma.

And yet… I am one of the most childlike people I know.

I can’t wait (to pretend) to beat my dad in another round of Scrabble, where my goal is always to lay down the most number of animal names. I get giddy when the sun is shining as I open the curtains. Because of an experience I had as a child, every time it snows, I believe it’s a special gift just for me. I don’t think much before I say anything and most of what I say is gibberish, but to me that’s okay. I don’t know the smell of marihuana, even though no one believes that when I say it. I have a plethora of stuffed animals and they all have their own name. I am uneducated in the ways of the world and I am quite happy to discover things by accident. And I am a kid with the most bizarre imagination you will ever meet.

So in short: I am a kid at heart with the lifestyle of a grandma. And I am damn proud. Maybe that does make me some type of exquisite bird, rather than a flying monkey? Well… Who cares anyways? I’m just a little old lady, counting down to Christmas:

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