From the acorn to the oak tree.
Happy Sunday, Soothers. Recently I was hanging out with a group of people who were about 10–15 years younger than I am. This is a relatively common experience for me these past few years, as my boyfriend is 12 years younger than I am and I’m often around his (wonderful) group of friends.
As he and his friends round 30, I’ve noticed an uptick in their conversations and laments about aging, and it was something I saw very strongly in this most recent hang. These folks didn’t know me that well and I suspect they didn’t realize my age (42) because there was a lot of bemoaning about your 40s being so old (lol) and how they were dreading getting to that age because being nearly 30 was already so hard and awful.
I don’t pass judgment on these sorts of comments because I remember very clearly being there myself, particularly in the late 20s/early 30s part of my life. There really is something about entering your 30s that can have you questioning a lot of where you’re going in your life and if things are unfolding in the direction you desire. It’s hard not to compare yourself to others at this age juncture, personally and professionally (everybody is either getting married or having kids or buying homes or getting promotions and if you find yourself without those mile markers it can make you feel even more adrift and insecure).
There was also something about being that age that felt like, logically, I knew I would eventually one day be in my 40s, 50s, and beyond, but I couldn’t totally comprehend it or picture myself being those ages.
These days, that’s gone. I can fully see (universe willing) what I will be like in my 50s, 60s and beyond, which feels good. Solid. Grounded. I know where I am, and where I am going.
This recent experience with these late 20-somethings, plus all the responses I received on writing about aging shifts from this past Sunday Soother, had me pondering aging a bit more thoughtfully as a concept. I really couldn’t stop thinking about it as I looked at these incredible, smart, kind, beautiful people (mostly women) who were berating themselves harshly for the ways in which they already perceived themselves to be aging (mostly looks and body wise) and…