It’s half my life ago when I was twenty. Double this and I am eighty. It feels like an eternity and a blink of an eye.
I don’t mind getting older. I celebrate the grey hairs, although slowly the physical downfall sets in. There is so much I love about aging: the desire to prove myself disappears. There is less to fuzz about, although the state of the world increasingly terrifies me.
Here are a few lessons that I learned:
– it’s a cliche that doing what you love most brings joy. But also: to generate an income by doing what you love most is both a privilege and often hard, courageous work.
– holding grudges doesn’t help. Still: letting go of them can be scary. Who am I without them? But carrying the weight we bestow upon ourselves isn’t helping anyone.
– We can have boundaries from a loving place.
– Learning to say ‘no’ is a personal revolution and a gift to the world.
– Consent is so much more than a buzzword. It’s a way of life that prevents and heals trauma beyond anything else.
– Rushing may seem second nature in our fast-paced world, but where do you need to go? Slow down. And then even more.
– I’m nothing and nowhere unless I have my friends. I make an effort to nourish my friendships, no matter what is going on in my life. Quantity of contact is never the most important thing in the best friendships.
– It’s okay to break up relationships, even when that happens more often than you think is okay. Show yourself, your children, and the world that the success of relationships isn’t determined by their length or the amount of relationships you have.
– listen. Listen to your children, the people that are different than you, those who are older, and those who are younger. When you really listen, you will love them all.
– don’t wait to rest and enjoy until ‘you are done’ or ‘deserve it’. That moment won’t come.
– know what is meaningful to you and create time for that.
– dare to trust again. To love again. To see beauty again. To hope. To always keep hope.
Here is an old photo of a younger me that I cherish. I must be around 19 or 20, with my dear Jade, a baby then.