I guess now that I’m on my way to 50 it seems pretty reasonable that I think about this a lot now. In the past few months there have been these mixed emotions about getting older. When I was younger, I only wanted to be older. At 15, I want to be 18, and at 18, I wanted to be 25, and so on… At 30, I was thrilled, as if I was walking through a door or shedding a huge heavy coat. I was free to begin being me. At 40, I was given a swift dose of reality and learned to feel my emotions, discover my strengths and decide how to handle my weaknesses. So here are my perspectives on how I feel today about aging:
Surprise – I don’t remember what I thought being 49 going on 50 would feel like, but this is not it. I believe that I thought I would know more, have more answers, and not have so many questions. This seems to be the biggest surprise to me – my desire to learn is stronger now than it has been in years, I want to know what you think and I have a lot of deep questions. The most surprising question and the one I ask myself most frequently is “Why now?”
Anger – This really is manifested as frustration that I’m here and maybe I should have, would have, and could have done things differently. Maybe if I realized sooner that time goes by quickly, having more of a process is a good thing and one should have big dreams, then I might not feel so resentful at those who I feel did it right. Sometimes I look at people in their 20’s and wonder how do they know what they want to do for the next 50 years? How do so many know their paths at such a young age or even younger?
Confident – I am sometimes giddy with the confidence that I feel at this age. Other times, it feels like new shoes that are not yet comfortable. As I woman, I search for ways to enjoy the confidence and learn to stay in it. It is not always easy with societal pressures, but I have surrounded myself with love and friendship that guides me.
Joy and Gratitude – These are felt in the deepest part of my soul and I seem to be able to hold onto them for longer periods of time. At this age, I am willing to let go of anger more readily and therefore, choose to live in joy. And it is the small moments filled with love and connections that give me the greatest joy.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings me and what I bring to it.