I feel blessed to be growing older. Don’t you?
Every day is another blessing. An opportunity to live, laugh and love.
But once upon a time I didn’t feel so blessed because as a teenager I wholeheartedly believed I would not live past the age of 21 – nor did I really want to.
No, I didn’t suffer a serious disease.
Instead, I was naive and a bit of a fool because of an experience with a Ouija board at a séance when I was a teenager. I also suffered badly from depression and anxiety – not that I knew it at the time. From then on I developed the belief that my time would run out early, and so I lived in a constant state of fear and angst. Angst that I was running out of time. That my time was running out fast. It encompassed me. I had so much I wanted to do and yet I was wasting my life doing other things I hated, or in just being depressed.
And then I turned 21 and the years just kept ticking away, and now I’m 40 and life continues to tick on.
Life hasn’t been easy.
There’s been a lot to deal with. I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff, failed repeatedly, and lost. I’ve made some wonderful friends, done some amazing things, and loved. Life has been amazing and beautiful and sad and tragic, yet it has all been worth it and made me the person I am today.
That’s the thing about growing older. It challenges AND defines you.
I recall a conversation with a former boss a few years back. I was telling them how I didn’t want to grow old and bitter, because I’d seen a lot of people do so. And the response? Well, I was expecting something like a high-five or a “good on you, that’s awesome“. But instead I told:
“Everyone grows old and bitter. There’s no other way.”
and the following corker;
“It will happen to you too.”
Those words made me so angry. They also made me incredibly sad. Sad for the person who uttered them. Sad because I expected more. Sad because it was the path they were paving for themselves.
I believe we all have a choice. Okay, life is hard. And yes, a lot of shitty stuff can happen, however we can let life break us or we can let life make us. We can choose to let life’s happenings turn us bitter OR we can choose the alternative road, the happy one.
I have made it my mission not to grow old and bitter.
You can expect to see me in 20 years looking all WILD and free-spirited with long flowing white hair, surrounded by lots of animals (dogs, not cats), rocking out to my fave tunes and laughing really loudly. It’s my personal mission to become that eccentric older lady, and I have the perfect role model for it – my rockin’ mother who is in her late 50’s and still young and carefree at heart. She’s strong, she’s stubborn, and she’s wild, and if she can do it – and she’s been through a lot – then we can all do it.
What about you? Do you have a positive role model like my mum? It could be a grandparent, parent, child, friend, a celebrity or someone else!
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