Age – Is It Time To Die Now?

Posted on December 9, 2012

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I was exchanging emails with a very good friend of mine the other night and the subject of age and the “difficulties” one might experience because of it came up in reference to finding work.  It gave me pause for a moment because I thought that to be true, but then I remembered – it’s simply BULLSHIT – all of it.

I don’t care how old or young you might be now, but I’m sure there was, is and always has been points in your life where you worried about your age and its “ramifications”.  Think about it – at one point you probably thought, or were told, that you were either too old or too young for something.  We all know that parents have to say things like that to keep the very young – the beautiful and curiously free spirits that children are, from hurting themselves or setting the house on fire.

But then you get a little older and perhaps you feel you’re now to old to sit at the “little kids” table during a big family get-together.  From one family gathering to the next, it becomes a “thing” cause you’re 8 now, in grade 3, and all the other kids are still in kindergarten or first grade.

Now you’re a “tween” – which will it be, boys or toys?  And maybe summer camp is totally out of the question.  And maybe you wear a bra now, so you think you are old enough to wear a thong – but the parent(s) won’t let you – “they still think I’m a baby”.   So you wear one anyway – stored safely in your locker after school hours, to prove to yourself or your friends, that you’ve matured and your parents just don’t know anything.

And then you make it to high school, bona fide teenager– do you remember grade nine?  FREEDOM!  But the age concerns continue because you become the “babies” again.  Thongs might be pretty commonplace in high school these days, but is it still cool to have a pajama party?  Or you start thinking about what you might be able to do to get the older kids to like you and let you hang out!  That story line has many different outcomes as we all know.  Or, as I can personally attest to – you have sex with a guy – not because you’re in love, but because you are already 17 years old and feel like the last virgin standing.  Man issues – the series, in due time!  LMAO!!

Then somewhere between grade 9 and 12, you start getting boyfriends.  And perhaps you decided (consciously or otherwise) that now that you’ve become a woman, perhaps its time for you to become a momma!  “God, I don’t want to wait till I’m old – like 25 or something”!  And voila, you’re all grown up – at least in your mind!  You’ve reached “it” – though I’d have to let you define “it”.

And for those who make it through high school, with or without boyfriends and/or dependents.  Do you continue on to college, trade school, or university?  Is it time to get married?   Or, perhaps it’s time to go out and get a job so that you can move out on your own – you’re “old” enough now!  Maybe you kept the part-time job you had through school, or you changed that same job to a full-time position, because it provided the funds needed for whatever you decided reaching the “age of majority” meant.

I found a job because for me, that meant getting out on my own – with roommates in tow.  I felt at the time that I needed the space and freedom – no rules, curfews, or chores!  Oh, what thought would do!  So I started working first, and then went back to night-school.

So now you’re in your twenties – and for some it’s seriously time to find a boyfriend and settle down.  Maybe get married and start a family – “God, I don’t want to wait till I’m old – like 35 or something”!  Or maybe you decide to work really hard and move up the corporate ladder – the hot new star – only 27 years old.  There are annual articles written about those that have done really well – the rising stars, under 30, under 40!  I think it stops there – can’t recall an article about anybody over 40 being classified as a rising star!  Or, if there is an article in existence, it probably notes the fact that said person is older, but deserves mentioning because of how well they’ve done at a later stage in life – LMAO!

Then twenty something turns into 30 something!  I know people who were seriously depressed by the fact that they were turning 30!  But life goes on.  If you aren’t already living independently, perhaps its time to start thinking about leaving “home”.  Some of us judge those in this category rather harshly – especially if they are men!!  I know I did!  Being the independent woman I thought I was, I just had no respect for a grown man still living with his Mother.  Man issues, the series – how much reading time do you have!

Anyway, so you’re in your 30’s now, and the pressure is on!  Culturally speaking, there may be no hope for you – relegated to being the sibling to care for your ageing parents.  Culture aside, you’ve let society at large tell you that it’s now or never!  You watch your friends “getting their acts together” and you start making a priority list because if you don’t attain this or that, then it’s never going to be!  Too bad, so sad!  Maybe you decide no marriage, no kids – life is good just as it is, thank you very much.  Or, you’re horrified by that notion and work even harder to find the perfect man and settle into raising perfect children.  Or, maybe you remember you still have ten years to climb the corporate ladder – just has to happen before the magical age of 40!

I bought my first home when I was about 32.  At the time, one of my aunts told me that now I would never finding a husband because men don’t like independent women who don’t need them for anything.  I always felt that she was/is a very cool, liberated woman in her own right, so I thought it was a strange thing for her to say to me, but I may have taken it to heart!  Man issues – the series, might be a novel!

Then it happens – 40!  OMG, where has all the time gone!  Some of us begin giving up, letting our hopes and dreams die because we’re too old now anyway.  It makes us so sad that we start reliving our “youthful” days, forgetting about the present, and never looking towards tomorrow.  Or, we start living tomorrow in our minds, forgetting about the present and resenting years gone by.

I gave up corporate life after 40 because I knew there was so much more I wanted to do.  I ran an art gallery out of my home, traveled freely for a few years, and settled down to write my first novel!!  I’m still working on that, and now I find myself looking for work – much to my surprise and utter dismay.  One of my favorite mantras was “I’m never going to do the corporate thing again”.  Wonder why I can’t find a job? – LOL!

I actually started to beat myself up over a decision I had absolutely no regrets about.  I KNEW I was doing the right thing for me when I quit my job.  I guess I just figured the money would last forever, or I’d be farther along with my writing.  So I was not prepared for finding myself in this horrible place, and started hounding myself for having spent so much and written so little.

Then I sat still for a time – somewhat depressed, and I wondered why I wasn’t finding “suitable” work and why was I stressing over money?  And I came to the realization that there was a fight going on in me – a struggle over lack and scarcity vs. abundance, a struggle over freedom and the fence working 9 -5 would build AND a struggle over the ramifications of MY AGE.  I started to think that perhaps its too late and I’m to old to do the things I know I’m meant to do.  I realized that I had seriously bought into a bunch of bullshit that was nothing but self-imposed limitations meant to keep me from being more of who I am.  It was all about me standing in my own way.

Perhaps I became a little too complacent, but I now realize I had to go there and witness that place so that I could see that none of it is true.  It’s all just been a really good scary story I’ve been telling myself – and anybody who cared to listen.  It was interesting, intense even, but it’s now time to say “The End” to that story and start it anew.

We want to be older when we’re young and younger as we mature!  Moving from toys to boys to boy-toys if we’re lucky (just kidding – although it does seem like a natural progression)!  We worry about getting to tomorrow and then worry when tomorrow actually gets here!  And, we base all those decisions and worries and bullshit on everything and everyone around us.

How many decisions have been made using age as the catalyst?  How important have we let age be – whether being in denial or wearing it like a badge of honor?  How is it that we let all those preconceived notions about a number define us or cause us stress?  And why, most importantly, do we use age as the reason to follow someone else’s path?  I no longer wish to play that game.  I won’t let age define me unless it’s to say – Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better!  Just like a good bottle of scotch – or wine, my beverage of choice!

I had to reach the end of that rope in order to sit still and see, just what was going on with me.   In doing so I’ve now found, that I could release something that was hindering me!  So today I give thanks for my age based decisions because now I can see, that they’ve brought me to this place where I could set them free.

I’ll stop here because I’ve got to get through the next decade, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that, and however more there are before it’s time to say goodbye.  And as I pass through each I know that I’ll have something more to say.

We are never to “old” to become the person we were meant to be.

And there’s no bullshit in that!

Much Love

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