I would rather read a book about Dickens than one he wrote himself. Maybe that is a natural aversion to classics because of the reading we were forced to do in school, maybe it’s laziness or simply a matter of taste. Maybe it is that as a classic myself now, I no longer need to pretend to be the intellectual I sometimes thought I was when younger.
Although it is true I once had great expectations, I am now older and wiser and have learnt that expectations are often too weighty to be bothered carrying forever. Birthdays do this to us. Make us ponder the wotifs, the forks in the road taken or missed. Often I wonder what would have happened had I just let the wind fill my sails and drifted not caring where I went. There would have been good and bad in that, but maybe, just maybe, the expectations of others may not have been so warmly embraced by me. And as I sit here thinking again, it seems to me that it was not my own great expectations that shaped who I am but the ones I soaked up from others in my life.
And I guess with that riddle still to be answered my whole midlife journey continues.