Do you ever look at your life and feel like you didn’t really know who you were or wanted to be when you were younger? We often think we know. In our late teens and twenties we feel like we know everything. Ignorance. Not because we’re dumb so much as because we don’t have life experience. We try to do what we are raised with or we rebel against it as much as possible, all the while not even knowing how to figure out who we actually are.
As life experiences happen we shed layers of a shell. A shell that is made of who we thought we needed to be. The beauty in growing older and having heartbreak and happiness occur is that we learn what we love, what we hate, what we will and won’t accept. We find out that we are crazy OCD about where our stapler sits on our desk, but have no care at all about cleaning our car all the time. We find that we never were going to make beautiful music, but we love listening to other create it. We find that we paint, but it’s not the way we learned how 30 years ago.
Some people fight growing older. They don’t want to grow up at all. I joke about wanting to be a kid forever, but I would not trade all the moments that have brought me to today. My 42 years are ones I am happy to tell people about. They are wrapped on my body and soul in the scars, the laugh lines, the silver hair, and the freckles. This doesn’t mean always being mature. If I see a playground I am going to play on the swings or slide. That’s not changing until I cannot actually do those things physically. Playing with my nieces and nephews keeps me young. There is nothing like watching the world through their eyes to keep wonder alive in my soul.
Life is sometimes messy, sometimes ugly, and sometimes it’s as beautiful as the most awe-inspiring sunset you have ever seen. Growing older has brought a peace and joy that I never understood. There’s still sadness that visits. It brings a depth that I don’t think is possible without actual grief.
What I love most about the years is that they’ve taught me how to shed the layers that were just masking who I am. It’s not even so much about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. The bizarre, beautiful, quirky masterpiece that is you. Embrace it.