Last thoughts as a 35 year old.
We live in a highly scripted world, where what we truly believe and know to be true of ourselves lies heavily beneath paradigms. One of those scripts is on age. There is an illogical loathe for age , an anti ageing movement within our society.
While I am not one to still proclaim to be forever 21 or 30, I did identify a mild resistance at the arrival of each birthday after I turned 30. I started thinking about turning 36 a few months ago and my true feelings over the years about ageing. The scripted lives we live have us thinking that there is something to fear or despise about ageing mostly because the physical dimension is more elevated in our society, than thee the social, spiritual and mental part of our humanity. But when I searched my soul I realised it was more about my turning a year older without feeling like I’ve accomplished certain things.
I searched myself for these “things” and found that I was being held captive by another script. The script tells you what you need to have acquired by a certain age and when you fall short of the expectations in the script, turning an age older might not feel fantastic. The next question that came, was “do you want any of these things”, and for the most part it was a yes. But this question opened up an even more important question “what is most important to you?” And I realised, for the most part, I have a lot of these things. They don’t all take the shape and form in the script but they are there, ready to be cherished.
This year’s birthday is “especially” special: I was diagnosed with cancer over 5 years ago and in the cancer universe, the five year mark is a big deal. I think it is a big deal. I am exceedingly grateful and I do acknowledge that maybe this gives me a little vantage point on the gifts of ageing: the gift of wisdom, the gift of insight, the gift of second, third , fourth chances; the gift of experience. Ageing means we have Life, we get to live out our hopes, dreams and sometimes unfortunately, our worries and fears. How blessed we are to be alive, older and hopefully wiser. We get to try again or move on to a new challenge. When we ask for more time to spend with our families , to achieve our dreams, we are asking for the grace of ageing. Long life, and ageing are two ends of the same stick. You cannot pick one end without the other.
So as I sit in reflection on my last day as a 35 year old, I plead with myself, to be kinder to myself, to forgive myself of the stupidity of my youth; to embrace the ageing, the challenges and to be grateful for all that love me. I embrace the tough lessons, the difficult-to-get-over life lessons. I sit in quiet expectation of the unfolding of my being, careful not to be impatient and slowly stepping out of the shadows of fear. Love is all around me, in different shapes and forms!
I embrace 36.