It’s funny how your mindset towards growing older changes in different stages of your life. As child, I always wanted to be older to be able to do all the “cool” stuff (e.g. driving, adulting, buying and eating all the ice cream I want). However, that all reversed once I reached age 21 – each year beyond that was wrought with fear, dread, and reluctance. Then came the big 3-0. I don’t think I thought too much about entering that new decade (I was probably too drunk for existential thinking…haha).
But I can tell you that as you get older, because you will (sorry to break it to ya), if you’re lucky, you’ll come to realize that it’s something to celebrate. I mean, I’ll keep it real by saying that sure, I’m not particularly thrilled with the rising # of grey hairs that have made themselves permanent tenants on my scalp, or newfound “age spots”, or deepened wrinkles on my face, or the slowed metabolism. But those are not new events that occur at the turn of each birthday; it’s just called (insidious) aging. What you do come to realize is that you only have to fear aging if you feel lost – if you feel that you somehow have not met whatever self-imposed expectations that you believe should be accomplished at some self-imposed certain age (e.g. I need to be married by age X, get a degree by age X, own a house by age X, etc.) . Life is not a Google Map where you have to follow specific steps in specific sequences to reach the endpoint destination (which is death btw). Remember that. It’s the relationships and love you foster, the memories you create, the confidence that grows as a byproduct of the wisdom and experience (hopefully) gained as you continue forward in your life.
For me, what I’ve realized as I’ve grown older and has made me not fear this natural life process of “getting old” is gratitude. With each birthday, remember how lucky you are to have lived to reach that age; not everyone gets that fortune – some lives are ended unfortunately too soon. Be grateful for the years you have been blessed with, the people who have loved you and who you love in all your years, for your accomplishments and milestones so far, for your health, your ability to see, hear, enjoy food, and walk and move with no hurdles, and for each new day that you get to wake up to and be given a new opportunity to write your own story.
Xoxo…gossip girl,…oh wait, Tongs