Monday, July 01, 2019

I've Leveled Up

I once saw a cute meme that said we should start thinking of our ages as game levels. The higher up we level, the more badass we seem. I dig it.

Yesterday, I celebrated surviving another year of existence and I'm not ashamed to say that this birthday made me a little sad. I had made a wish a while back and was holding my breath, waiting for it to miraculously come true. It didn't. That's what I get for being a dreamer of impossible dreams and such a hopeless romantic. Other than that, I had a fabulous day, thank you very much. I ate too many cupcakes, laughed a lot, and spent time with people I love.

But another year is gone. Wow.

Mission accomplished
Actually, aging is not a big thing for me. I can age or I can not age. I choose life.

I think that it's not aging that bothers people. I think the problem is the importance we put on aging. And that we are trained to set our life clocks and dreams to specific ages.

Aging is not just physiological. It's always been my opinion that there are different ages we reach in our own time, regardless of our biological calendars. There's the Learning Age -  which lasts a lifetime unless you are determined for it not to. The Experience Age lasts several years until you've done most of what you ever will for the first time - first job, first really good friendship, first love (and maybe) first heartache, first mourning a loved one, first regret, and so on. There are people still in their 20's going through things I never will. Life's funny like that. I feel for kids who have had to experience the most painful stuff before they get to the good stuff.

I'm fortunate that I learned a lot of life lessons when I could best handle them. I'm especially lucky that I still enjoy learning and discovering. That will always be my favorite life "level".

The Romantic Age is the tough one for some of us. It can come early in life or late. It just might come around again and again. For some people, their romantic age is planned out and works out with the first person they love. For some, it comes as a surprise. At my age, that's what will have to happen and it would be so welcome and amazing.

I've had 2 chances at romance. Let's call them Ghosts of Romances Past. I mourn both of them because I didn't make them what they could have been. I'm okay with that - finally - because I think I have entered my Comfort Age. In this age of my life (and especially since my wish didn't come true) I'm not expecting much, I just enjoy what I have - or the memories of what I've had. Some people don't even have memories of good things.

Yes. This.
So where does my sadness come from? It comes from an echo of my past, not my "now" and it's not a deep or heavy sadness. It's a reminder that I could have been in this Comfort Age all along. This age is one of acceptance. I'm content - for the most part - and thankful. Nothing has to be forced anymore. I live my best, love my best, and hope for the best. That's all. It's like my spin on the Serenity Prayer.

By the way, despite my current calm, don't think I didn't have a rough moment or two. I spent most of last night bawling like a jilted bride. Then I realized that I probably need to start watching out for wrinkles! (Just kidding. You all know I had to throw a joke in somewhere.) But listen. I did cry for a while, just for a short while. What I came to realize is that I'm blessed to still be here in this life of mine. As raggedy and worn out as it is, it's mine and I cherish it.

And if my "wish" is still out there somewhere, I hope it finds me one day.


P.S.: The other day, I was looking over some old photographs of family and friends - and a lot of people I have no idea about...  I've had a lot of happiness in my life. Sometimes, I'm so busy missing what I don't have that I forget that. And because this is what I feel like inside, I'm choosing this song for the post:

"I wanna be free to know
The things I do are right
I wanna be free"