In a handful of days, I turn 50. It's a fact. Yes, yes, I know, it's better than the alternative, but I have to say, it's fucking with me... not all of the time, but during those moments when my guard is down.
It does not compute. 50 is my parents' age. 50 belongs to my aunts and uncles, or older siblings. I'm the baby of the family, how can I be 50???
Not to mention the fact that I'm still fighting inner wars and dramas from 15, 24, 32, 45... and probably more. Parts of me are caught up. Parts of me relish all I know now... the calm I have about certain areas of my life, but there are still parts of me that are panicking, thinking, WAIT!!! I'M NOT DONE YET!!! To be honest, in some ways, I haven't even started! But, if you're a female in the world, your shelflife is short... unless you move to the crone section. I'm allergic to dust. I don't want to move there.
Don't get me wrong... I don't need to be 25. I'm glad I'm not 25. I'm glad my children are growing and thriving and don't need me as much, OR... need me in newer, more wonderful ways, but still... 50.
I'm glad my creativity is loving that I'm 50. Although I'm no longer on the hip train of things, I see things and get things like never before, but still... 50.
My eyes are not what they were, my hair is not what it was, oh hell... nothing physical is what it was... and yet I feel like I finally understand things or have perspective on things I never have, but the joke is, it's too late. I've heard it a million times... "Oh! If only I knew what I knew now, but when I was younger!"
Don't get me wrong. It doesn't bother me every day. It has not crippled me, but... there is a large part of me that is wondering how it happened... it's so easy to get lost in the minutiae of a day... and then another... and another, and before you know it, you're looking at those days from the other end and it freaks you out... if only for a moment.
I also know that I'll look back on this in 10, or 20 years, and will laugh. HA! You were ONLY 50!
Grizzled and I celebrated our 20th anniversary last week. While cleaning out a closet, I found a video his father had made of part of our rehearsal, our rehearsal dinner and a snippet of the reception. Somehow, we both had missed this. Somehow, it came into our possession and we had no clue! We watched it the other day, for the first time... watching people who are no longer here, people who were so much vibrant and younger. We looked at ourselves. When I looked at my 20 yr-younger self, all I could think of was, "WHAT WAS YOUR PROBLEM!??! YOU WERE FINE! WHY DID YOU LISTEN TO EVERY ASSHOLE WHO HAD A COMPLAINT?" I'm trying to tell myself that now... so I don't look back in 20 years and think, come on... life was good! You're with people you like and love! Doing more or less things you like and love! So what if your boobs are past their perky date! So what if your ass is huge! So what if you have not achieved all you want to achieve! Thank gawd you haven't! You have years to live! Years to thrive! Shut the fuck up and embrace this!
I know this. Deep down I know this...
But man... there are days when I'd like to take this back to 25... or 35... and try it knowing what I do now. I knew it then. I believe I did. I just listened to too many others, like most of us do.
Maybe I'll get myself some celebratory earplugs. :)