Age is a funny thing. As a child, I could not wait to be an “Adult”. I have been a legal adult for 26 years. Something completely new to me is having people be uncomfortable with my age, and actually have them look at me negatively for it. The expectation of what a 44 year old woman looks like and acts like vary greatly from person to person. The stories we tell ourselves about others and their age are interesting.
Growing up I was ALWAYS the youngest. On both parent’s side I am the baby girl by a long shot. I was always behind in comparison to them. My siblings are 10 and 12 years older than me. My closest cousin is 4 years older. As a young girl, I thought the lives of my cousins and brothers looked amazing. I wanted to hurry up and meet them where they were. Time can’t be rushed or slowed. Eventually, I did grow up, but they will forever be ahead of me. Now that distance in age is pretty good. They obtained grey hair and smile lines before me, which can be advantages in being the youngest.
When I started my career I was the youngest on the team. I looked even younger than my 22 years old. I wore no make up with flowing dresses and Doc Martin shoes. I walked to work with my backpack and was frequently asked about my high school classes in the elevators. As I aged and ascended in my career, my colleagues were close in age. We all went through marriage, pregnancy, parenthood and divorce together. Everywhere I looked my circle of friends and coworkers were all in a similar adult “phase” as I was.
With choosing to quit life as I knew it, I exited the rat race about a year ago. That offered a wonderful experience, but with it presents something I did not expect. As I connected more with myself during my break, I found my youthful giddy self again. I like me more today than yesterday and definitely more than I did when I started adulthood. Now in the present moment, I feel great physically, emotionally and spiritually! My body is strong and flexible. I am running again without pain and yoga feeds my soul. My spirit and heart soar with joy in my new practice of balance while I feel better than I did when I was 25 years old.
Returning to work at the bottom, I look around the room automatically thinking everyone is my age or older. That feels correct until they start talking about their children. They are dealing with pregnancy, daycare while some are planning their first wedding. My mind registers confusion, and then I remember my life back then. I giggle with delight as I loved my time where they are, but I embrace my current life as well. In my youthful feeling and state of mind, I would of course I attract a younger man into my life. What is most interesting is how wonderfully compatible this relationship is. We share common interests and life flows with ease. Yet this provides challenges for important people in his life. For they have stories of what life should look like for him. I understand on all sides of that equation, as I am a mother of an adult child, and I am a daughter. My compassion expands for others as I experience into this learning opportunity.
Now that I am on the older end of the equation, I have a choice. Lean in or run away. I chose to lean in. Let me see what the universe has to teach me at this stage of life and in this situation. I must say that the discomfort in others based on my age confuses me. They don’t know me as a person, they just know my birthday. Have an open mind and heart to get to know me first and then you may find plenty of other reasons to love me or not. Interestingly it felt the similar when I was disregarded because I was too young.
Life lessons continue to show up until they integrate fully. So, what does that mean? We are good enough just as we are regardless of age, height, weight, house, car, or bank account. That is true for me too…..