I had intended to comment on this but some anonymous emailer reminded me.
Obviously turning thirty has had me thinking alot about age and aging. I suppose alot of things in my life have had me mulling these topics. A while back we were meeting with a client. They had a giant mirror across the wall and as I absent-mindedly turned my head I caught my reflection in it for a split second. What I saw was myself at thirty. I saw that I had aged. And frankly I was glad.
I'm thirty years old. I have learned alot of things in thirty years. I can't wait for the next thirty years and all the learning I'm going to do during that time. At this stage in my life I am happy to be leaving my twenties. The twenties were filled with strife and struggle as I figured out who I was and where I wanted to be. Along the way, at times, I let people walk on me, I worked at jobs that crushed my spirit, I put myself into situations that tore chunks out of me. I became fragmented in little ways. I had a lot of good things happen in my twenties, but so much of that lurks behind clouds of fuck up and little regrets and a general feeling of "I have this and this, and I've accomplished this and this, yet why am I not happy?".
But the last four years of my life have been different. In some ways they've been even harder but because of that they have also been the best four years of my life. I am so happy to be where I am and I am incredibly excited and hopeful about where I am going. I look at myself and what I've achieved and I'm proud.
I'm not rich and I don't look like a twenty year old.
I don't want either of those things so who the fuck cares? They are so beyond meaningless to me at this point. I live my life the way I want it. I work for myself and I do well at it. I don't eat shit at a job I hate. I don't eat shit at all! I don't end each day needing a drink to dull my pain. I work with people I respect and who respect me. I have a partner who is supportive, caring and wonderful in his own right. I strive for balance and physical health. I am not that twenty year old I was ten years ago and why in the hell would I ever want to be?
How pathetic would I be if I lived a whole ten years and stayed exactly the same? Unchanging, making the same mistakes, thinking about changing my life but never quite doing it...
I have earned the look of my age honestly through hard work and struggle. I embrace my age and everything that comes with it. If I have lines on my face and some grey hairs then great. I don't want to look twenty. I want to look thirty. I want to look at myself and see that I have lived. I don't want to look haggared because I am weary with life but I do want to look like the person I am with no covering up or hiding behind superficiality. People who are hung up on looking young do so because they cannot accept themselves wholeheartedly. They are afraid to grow old because they don't want to do the work of actually "growing".
I don't look older than thirty. I don't look younger than thirty. I look like thirty which is exactly where I am. I am happy. I expect that in ten years I will look older. I also expect that in ten years I will be able to look back on those ten years with pleasure and pride. And so on, and so on. What else is there?