Most of the time I feel about 46. Sometimes I feel 16. And that's not a good thing.
I decided recently, and deliberately, that I felt 46. I thought I ought to choose something - because I don't feel my real age, which has a 5 in front of it - so I chose something realistic. I think I can actually get away with this one, for a while at least.
I know I look younger than most women my age. I know I don't actually look young. And I don't feel young either, although it took a while to realise it.
At 41, I still felt young-ish. At 45, I knew things were different. Like it or not (and I didn't like it: I wanted to keep on dancing), my body was going to be different. And, after a while, my mind started changing too. I wouldn't say wiser. Maybe wised up.
45 was a turning point. 46 was the point I wanted the changes to stop.
So, I decided on 46. And that is genuinely how I feel, most of the time.
But some days I feel 16. And I don't like it any more than I did the first time. I look at what's going on in the world - Libya, New Zealand, Downing Street - and I feel as fearful and angry and helpless as I did as a teenager. I look at what's going on in my daily life and I feel fearful again. Fearful of wasting the time I've got left being someone I didn't intend to be.
The difference is that when I was really 16 I believed things could be different. At 46...or whatever... I don't really know what to believe in.