Musings on Age: Aging Gracefully

I was talking with my roommate, J the other day.
“Sometimes I wish I was thirty already,” I told her.
“Me too!” she had exclaimed.
Colour me shocked. Who in their right mind actually wants to be… ‘old’?

Growing up in our culture, society puts such an emphasis on age.
Being young is the best thing to happen to you.
And getting old?
There’s not much worst.
And this starts as soon as you’re out of your twenties.
Turning 30? You might as well retire and plan your gravestone.

When I was in high school, I never really knew what my future would entail, but I was positive that it would be better than what I was living through during these years. Better than focusing on only academics. Being an adult meant being able to go out and have a social life and live in a wonderful apartment and have fabulous clothes.
I could only see a couple of years ahead of me at a time though.
After sophomore year, take the ACT.
After junior year, apply to college (and no, I never once went on a campus tour).
After getting into an amazing University, planning my life for the next four years.
And after that? It gets a little blurry.

I’ll admit it, I never watched Sex and the City until I joined my sorority. (TSM, anyone?)
And I never found an appreciation for it until my sophomore year of university.
But by seeing those women on screen living their lives how they wanted to, without any sort of guidance, making mistakes, falling in and out of love and managing their career, it really opened my eyes. Girls in my generation have a definite advantage with being able to see successful thirty- and forty-somethings on the tele. Sure, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha might have some insecurities about things, but for the most part, they were confident, strong and gorgeous. I realized that was everything that I wanted when I was older. Hell, it’s everything I want right now.

Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to be thirty.
Some people are appalled at this statement.
Why on earth would you want to be that old?
But, I ask them, really, why wouldn’t you want to be thirty?

In your twenties, you’re trying to prove yourself.
Prove to yourself and others that you’ve got what it takes to be successful at college, be successful at landing and working internships and having an amazing social life.
But not only that, you’re trying to figure out how you fit into this big world.
With global crises and wars raging on, little old you is at university trying to figure out what major is going to make you happiest.
And the social experience of university and dating? You’re figuring out exactly what you want in your life and what you don’t. What you’re willing to put up with in relationships. Who you attract to your life defines you.
And after college?
You’re doing the same thing, except in the Real World. The big RW. You’re proving you’re good enough to land a job after graduation, no matter what the paper says about the economy and unemployment these days. You’ve got to prove to yourself and your family that these last four years haven’t been a waste, that you can apply the newly found knowledge you’ve acquired for no less than $80 k. And not only do you have this pressure to bust out of college and find a job but to find your own apartment and make sure you don’t have to move back in with mom and dad.

But by the time you’re thirty, you’ve got some years in the real world and (hopefully) have figured out how to make less mistakes.
You’ve got your own place, are a few years into your career and you’re confident. You know where you’re going in life and how to make it happen. You’re investing in a great wardrobe. Perhaps you’re dating, if you want to, or you’re not.
You don’t need to prove yourself, but rather are doing more with your career because that’s what you crave. You’re able to satisfy your ambition.
You’re not struggling to figure out what you want from life. You’re not living with mom and dad.
And no more professors to downgrade your papers you spent all night writing.
You’re creating a life for yourself that’s all your own and you have let go of any caring about what other people think of your life.
You’re truly coming into your own.
You’ve got experience to be confident in your instincts and are able to trust your gut more than ever.
But the best part to me is that you’re still young enough to enjoy everything.

Yes, I know, age isn’t anything but a number, but thirty seems like a great age to be.
Because truthfully? You’re still young, beautiful, but more strong and confident than ever.
You can take anything that life throws at you and still be able to come out on top because of all of the mistakes you’ve (hopefully) learned from and the resources you’ve acquired around you.
And I believe that it only gets better when you’re forty-something and beyond too.

This is the secret to aging gracefully. It starts with believing in yourself and being confident, but when you’ve had those experiences that knock you down and you still get up after that, you truly learn how to trust yourself. And when you have that innate knowledge, you radiate it subconsciously and you attract the right people to your life – all because you’re glowing from the inside-out.

I may only be twenty right now, but I only have the utmost faith in the universe that these next few decades will bring even more wonder and magic into my life to create something worth living for.
Every year that I’m alive is better than the last and I believe it’s just gonna keep getting better.

There’s no doubt about it, I’m not going to be afraid or anxious to turn thirty in ten years.
I’m actually really looking forward to it.

xoxo,
Rococo

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