I just turned 40 last month and it still feels strange to admit my age. Frankly, I don’t feel old enough to be 40! Thankfully, the old notions of what you should or shouldn’t do at a certain age has fallen away, as the others featured in the blog post prove. The writer George Eliot wrote “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” These words feel truer than ever.
While I’m getting used to the idea that I’m no longer a “young person” and perhaps even “middle-age” (!), I am going to own my age. Years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I met a woman in her early 50s. It actually took a while to figure out her age, because she wouldn’t admit it. When I did find out, it was a big secret and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone else in our diverse circle of friends. I couldn’t understand why she seemed ashamed to admit her age. Now that I’ve turned 40, I feel like I’ve earned the right to own my age. I have gathered years of life experience, acquired skills, learned lessons, and lived through heartache and physical pain that has made me a richer, fuller person than I was when I was in my 20s.
I could waste time trying to hide my age from people, or mourn the years that have passed, but frankly I’m too busy looking ahead. If my age has given me one gift, it is the realization that I no longer have to please anyone other than myself.