I’m not afraid of growing old.
Maybe that’s a weird way to begin a birthday post, especially when I’m only 32 (which, by the way, may be “young” if you’re 42 but it’s definitely ancient if you’re 22, so let’s press pause on that eye roll).
Somewhere along the way, between turning 2 and 32, birthdays tend to stop being delighted in and start being dreaded.
Anyone else feel pressured by this universal expectation to treat an occasion celebrating your life like it’s a ticking time bomb?
It’s as if the more life we live, the less we’re supposed to celebrate it.
We don’t want to share our ages publicly.
We don’t want children to call us “ma’am.”
We don’t want to be reminded the first Toy Story film came out 24 years ago.
We definitely don’t like it when the waiter doesn’t bother to check our ID, or the intern doesn’t understand our pop culture reference.
Because it makes us feel old.
I thought I was supposed to hate feeling old.
But then I lost some friends when they were still young, and I realized that not everyone will get to grow old.
It just doesn’t make sense to me to fight off feeling old anymore. Not because it’s an inevitability I’m forced to surrender to, but because I’ve finally awakened to the power of this gift.
Old is wisdom, and settledness, and strength that’s unbreakable because it’s been forged in the fires of suffering.
Old is greater capacity and a confidence that isn’t rattled by gray hairs and gossip.
Old just chuckles at franticness, and brings calm to the chaos.
Old isn’t daunted by disappointment, and doesn’t need a standing ovation to stay the course.
Today reminds me I’m growing old. And so are you.
Today, I’m feeling old. And that is something worth celebrating.