I have been going through a series of difficult transitions. First, the acknowledgment of being a maturing female in a youth-centered culture; secondly, the awareness that there are no “do-overs”; and third, that some precious friendships have reached a crossroads and are destined to travel a different path. All of this has me pondering my finite human existence and the difficulties I encounter when preparing to make way for imminent change.
As an end-stage baby boomer, I have had the advantage of being young enough to remember the sixties and seventies and legal enough to have embraced the eighties and nineties. In essence, I have been blessed with four decades of bad-ass music, social and political turmoil and upheaval, and iconic trend setting fashion (not to mention the sex and drugs!). All of the aforementioned has fostered an attitude within myself of “I will never be that old” in reference to previous generations and I have remained true to this philosophy, however, the world began to change and despite my lack of permission, I entered another age demographic.
Although I have been told numerous times that I do not look my age, I subtly began to notice that something had changed when men began to look past me and focus instead on one of my lovely daughters. This was a shock at first and I had to recognize that my girls were growing up and that I was becoming older whether I looked my age or not. This rite of passage was not so difficult due to the motherly pride I possessed in my beautiful and intelligent daughters, however when I noticed that my expensive anti-aging moisturizer was now being modeled on a teenager, I had to draw the line! I wrote to that company and told them how ludicrous and insulting to have chosen someone so young to market a product obviously geared in development and price to a more mature and prosperous audience but they didn’t respond.
One of the more important revelations in this life juncture has been the awareness that “someday” is today. I will not have a “do-over” and I had better make the most of my remaining youth and ambition while I still possess my blessed health. I took up running and ran my first half-marathon four years ago and I am planning my next within the year. I have always wanted to travel and I am still single so becoming a solo traveler is a little intimidating but I am up for the challenge. I have reached the stage where I am unwilling to compromise my values but wise enough to not sweat the small stuff. I have developed an infallible voice of knowledge and maturity that allows me to choose my battles and not make mountains out of mouse turds! I wouldn’t trade this priceless facet of my experience for ten more years of youth and knowing and embracing my convictions is an invaluable state of being and has been a more than acceptable trade-off.
The transitioning of friendships has been by far the most difficult. This is not to say that the friendship has ended, it is in the changing of the dynamic that is so clumsy. On one hand, the point of the human experience is to grow and change but on the other hand, not all humans are destined to grow in the same ways or at the same pace and in some cases, the path may take such a turn that you are tempted to go back but you cannot, it is not the same. The best option available may be to wave once in a while, shouting out a word of encouragement or two and all the time reminding yourself of how blessed you were to have shared that part of your journey.