Getting Older

Late 20’s/early 30’s is a strange stage of life to be in. You no longer fit in with the “young” people which you still have the tendency to consider yourself a part of. You still feel young, but I remember thinking 30 year olds were super old most of my life. You also aren’t embraced by the older generations who tend to view you as an immature child and make light of your concerns about being older. I’m so used to eye rolls and scoffs from boomers if I dare to mention feeling old. It’s an awkward middle ground between youth and middle age. It feels like no one quite understands you. At times it feels like you don’t even understand yourself.

I know I should focus on being grateful that I even made it this far. I’ve had an extremely easy, wonderful life for nearly 28 years now. I’ve never had a serious illness, surgery, or even a broken bone! Throughout most of human history, it would have been a miracle that I even made it this far. Rather than feeling like a blessing, aging has just started to feel surreal to me. I’m sure as children, we all imagined growing up and living independent, adult lives one day. However, when you’re 10, “adult” means 18-20. That’s all the further out I really pictured. It was hard to even conceptualize being older than that. It started to get weirder each consecutive year after my 21st birthday.

You find yourself waiting and waiting. Wondering when you’ll finally start to feel like a real adult. It used to seem inevitable that one day you would wake up and just get it. You’d understand what you’re supposed to do, who you are, where you’re going in life. After a while, that expectation changes to questioning if you’ll ever actually experience that confidence and self mastery you had always anticipated. At a certain point you start to ask yourself where you ever got that impression of adulthood in the first place.

It’s also strange to consider if this is a natural part of getting older, or if this experience is unique to your generation. After all, things have changed quite a lot since my parents were 30. The baby boomers were all having children and buying houses around this age. Whereas my generation isn’t exactly able to enjoy the same privileges. Instead, we are burdened by crippling debt, useless degrees, being stuck living with our parents, unable to shed those aspects of our childhood that are still so prevalent in our lives. I’ve been playing Pok√©mon every evening for months now. I doubt I’ll ever outgrow that particular interest.

Apart from all the psychological aspects of aging, it’s also quite scary to realize that my body is getting older too. As a woman that is particularly frightening. Despite knowing that my worth is not tied to my age or my appearance, I am aware that society does not reflect that fact. Is my life going to become more difficult once I’m no longer a young, attractive woman? I’ve already got a few wrinkles between my eyebrows and a handful of grey hairs. Will I still think I’m pretty ten years from now? Will I still be able to do impressive yoga poses or intense cardio workouts? When will I begin to notice aches and pains that never quite go away? How much longer will this strong, healthy body last?

The concept of aging is certainly a bizarre one no matter how you want to look at it. I only hope that as time continues to pass that I will grow older with dignity and grace, with gratitude in my heart. Even though it’s scary, I am still hopeful. I am curious to find out what the rest of this miraculous life has in store for me.

What Is (and Isn't) Normal Aging

Happy Birthday

I am 27 years old today. I genuinely never thought I’d get this far. Each year that passes just gets more and more surreal. I remember thinking 30 was pretty old, but I’m almost there and I still feel as young as ever. For a long time now, I haven’t enjoyed celebrating my birthday. If I could, I’d let it go by unnoticed by coworkers and acquaintances. This day always made me feel sad, afraid.

I want to change that this year. A birthday is just another opportunity to choose. I can focus on the fact that I’m getting older, getting closer to the inevitable end that awaits all of us, or I can focus on being grateful. After all, I was never guaranteed a place in this world. A birthday is a time to reflect on just how lucky we are to have been born, the sheer improbability of our existence, the amazing fact that we’ve managed to make it this far. I have had 27 beautiful years on this earth. What a miracle. I am so grateful to exist.

Yesterday by pure serendipity I ended up at my mom’s house looking over things in my old bedroom. It was so touching and bittersweet. How lovely it is to look back. I’ve led an absolutely splendid life. I have been so fortunate. No matter what the future holds. I will always have those memories. I won’t forget how my life has been so abundant already. I won’t take for granted all the opportunities I’ve had to love and to be loved in return. Today I give thanks to the universe. Thank you for twenty-seven years

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