Allow me to explain why I’d resisted it for so long.
I work in an industry where youth symbolizes the infusion of new ideas, running at warp speed to keep up, even when everything else about you is dying to slow down. At work, I’m surrounded by people half my age who are telling me what to do. And although my oldest friends are my age (whew!), my newer friends are much younger. The book world is pretty much the same! Our readers are in their 20s and 30s, Facebook is full of posts from people who tell you about life when they’re just about to embark on it. People who don’t even leave their homes are dishing out advice about politics and world events. Everyone has something to say about everything and social media is imbedded in everything we do. Everything is hip, new and cool. To remain relevant in the market, there is pressure to keep up. To evolve, invoke, provoke daily conversations that keep you in the limelight.
Growing older didn’t really appeal to me. I needed to stay the same, look the same. It frustrated me that I couldn’t lose weight as quickly as I did when I was younger. That no matter how much I try, my mid- section continues to expand. That I have to double the number of squats a day just to get back to the way I was when my butt wasn’t dragging on the floor.
2016 was a banner year for a variety of reasons. I’ve been blessed in all aspects of my career and personal life. I walked away from the darkness and was rewarded with so much light. When I begin to assess why my thinking has changed, I think it’s because I know that everything I have today has come from years of hard work and dedication. Nothing has come easily, everything has taken place in its own time.
This year, I finally get it. I’m no longer desperate to pretend that I haven’t aged. Because time ages you and you age with time. You can’t have one without the other. And therefore, age is good.
Age is the fusion of the pieces of your heart that have shattered over the years.
It embodies your evolution as a person.
Age defines who you are, because your core is a result of what you’ve been through. What you’ve tolerated and accepted. What you’ve fought so hard for, what you’ve thrown away.
I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t come from there. The lines on my face, the veins on my legs, the aches, the pains, the scars in my heart, they all have a history that comes together to form the present.
History matters. And I learn about its importance every day. When I look around me at work, I’m reminded that knowledge only comes with experience. That maturity signifies the passage of time in one’s life, and that being seasoned means that you’ve earned a sophistication imparted by life’s adventures.
I am no longer afraid to grow old.
For as long as I do so with grace and fortitude and strength and resilience, I think I’m going to be okay. Age gives me the prerogative to say what I want, wear what I want and do what I want. And I’m totally fine with that.
Happy Birthday to me.