So, today is my birthday. I love birthdays. I think they’re fabulous. No matter how old I get, I never get down about having a birthday. I get down about getting older, ignore my age and defy the number that represents the number years I’ve been on this planet. But I love celebrating the day I was born on.
I’m very aware of my age. Battling infertility for six years can have that effect on a girl. And whenever I forget momentarily, there’s always some procedure or a multitude of needles to pop my balloon and bring me back to reality. So today, in honor of the inevitable process of aging, which I hate, I’ve decided to challenge myself by listing all the things I LIKEabout getting older. Stick with me, this might be a very short list.
Here we go:
1. Wisdom- This one is obvious, but so important. While I feel like I was 21 just last week, I know I’ve come such a long way and am so much wiser than that naïve young girl I used t be. And that is a wonderful thing.
2. The Full Circle- When you’re very young, everything feels so black and white. When you’ve not been through the ups and downs of life yet, you can feel so definite about so many things. In reality, life is like series of Russian nesting dolls. Each piece has hidden inside it so many other pieces, invisible to those young and inexperienced eyes. Through the years, pieces are revealed one by one and life comes full circle over and over again. And with each completion, a new beginning appears and a new doll materializes with her own hidden secrets. Sure, life begins to seem much more uncertain, but every completed circle offers illumination, gratification, education and revelation.
3. Strength in Numbers- The older one gets, the bigger one’s age gets, the stronger the person becomes. Not physically perhaps. But, the strength gained through living, failing, winning, learning, accomplishing, losing, loving, becoming and evolving cannot be compared with where one began in youth. It is very true: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And the longer you live, the more stuff come up that don’t kill you, but instead make you bulletproof.
4. A for Accomplishment- I think that living through hard times, bouncing back after losses, growing up gracefully, growing wise beautifully, and gaining the confidence to keep at it are all accomplishments deserving of gold stars. Sure, some grow up to be rich, famous and powerful. Some grow spiritual, while others grow into factual and logical beings. Some marry. Some don’t. Some bare children. Some give everything so they can bare children. Those are all great and wonderful accomplishments. But, truthfully, just living and thriving and not giving up are the accomplishments I’m most proud of. It’s easy to bounce back when you’re young and fresh-faced, with so much newness and excitement for what is to come. But, showing grace under pressure after years of living is much more courageous and commendable in my book. So, I give myself an A for those significant accomplishments year after year. All that other stuff is a work in progress. A for effort.
5.Earned Beauty- Beauty at 20 is Mother Nature’s work. Beauty at not-so-20 is all personal work. It’s true and deep beauty. I really believe that. And I value it so much more than youth.
So, that’s my list. There are other things that I’m sure should be on this list, but this is what I like about aging. As I begin another year, as I become more and more aware of my age, I become more and more me. As I get older, I find more and more of myself. And, even though I would go back to being 25 in a heartbeat, I am aware of all the treasures my age has brought me.
Here’s to growing up and growing brilliantly. Here’s to gaining, learning and revealing. Here’s to evolution and metamorphosis. Here’s to birthdays and celebrating the survivor inside.