As each day ticks away toward my 40th year, I am frequently reminded that my life is indeed moving on. I am reaching that middle age category and now -more important than ever- I have two choices to make: preserve and protect what I have or let it all go and get old. If you have followed my life on this blog at all, I am sure you could probably figure out that I am all for option “A”: “preserve and protect”. I refuse to get old; I hate getting old.
When I reflect on the decades of my life, I can easily sum up the theme of each. As a child, I grew up healthy and relatively happy. I was akward and shy but I managed to get through. I had some dirty stuff happen to me by my childhood hero but at the time, it was as normal as normal could be. What difference did I know?
In my teens, I had struggled with self-identity and became very dependent on others to get me through. My self-esteem was non-existent so I worked hard on the things that brought me any kind of pride. Working was the only thing I had.
In my 20’s, I had thought that owning stuff was the way to go. Getting the big job, house, cars, collecting stuff was all my focus. Accumulating things that I thought would make me happy and constantly seeking that dopamine hit every time I would buy something shiny and new. I was patching over the hole in my heart with materials.
I spent my 30’s cleaning up the trash. Clearing out years of suppressed feelings that I avoided throughout my teen years and my 20’s. I fought my way through the dirty stuff that had formed like plaque on my soul that I carried around since my childhood. I easily call this era my “dirty thirties”. I met myself for the first time and I was disappointed with who I was. It took a lot of courage and sacrifice, but here I am, knocking on my 40th decade, clean, lean and a hell of a lot less mean. I love me now.
For the first time in my life I know what I want from it. I want zero drama and even less anger. I strive to live each day solving problems and not relishing in them to make me appear strong. I want to lead my life with immeasurable strength but never realizing that I have it. I need to spend each day appreciating the good health that I somehow managed to maintain as I trudged through 30 years of stress. I really hope that those years of constant anxiety haven’t already made their mark on my body. As I embark on the middle part of my life, I want to finally live in the peace that I have worked so hard to find. For the first time in my life… I want to authentically enjoy it.
Perhaps I have become wise but I clearly found, understood and practiced my meaning of life. My meaning of life is that there is no meaning but a constant theme of everlasting learning, improving and giving. Happiness doesn’t come from the obstacles that we successfully climb but the appreciation of the climb itself. I have lived a very good life and I live it with zero regret. As I move forward, I hope that I will continue to stay young and never realize my true age. Age is merely a measurement of experience and not a marker of vitality.
I may grow old but I hate getting old. I have vowed myself to die young in an old body.