It’s 2016. I just turned 45 two months ago. I feel as if I’m supposed to say that with a down-turned face and disgust/regret/apology in my voice; but screw that. I’m 45. And in November of this year I’m going to turn 46. What does it mean? Nothing more and nothing less than what it is. The number of years that have passed since the date of my birth. Last I checked I’m not special in some supernatural way. What happens to every living breathing creature on the planet since the dawn of time will happen to me. I will keep getting older and older until I one day die.
All it means that I am 45 is that I have managed so far to survive this crazy experience of life for 45 years. I am still here; and I hope to be here at least a while longer, because there are still things I want to do. And I have no interest in spending my time wallowing in self pity because I have reached an age that society has decided is an age to feel bad about being.
So take your pity elsewhere. These years are earned stripes. And don’t bring your self-pity on my doorstep either. I don’t have time to sit and listen to you whine about the fact that you’re getting old. So effing what you’re not 25 anymore? What was so great about your life then anyway? Dudes were all over you wanting to bang you because you were so hot? And that made you feel special? That made you feel worthy? What have you got to show for all the dudes who banged you (or wanted to bang you) because they thought you were so hot? What did any of them give you other than STDs?
When I was 25 no one gave any more of a shit about me than they do now. No one valued me or thought I was worth anything more than they value me and think I’m worth now. And I was depressed and suicidal because I felt worthless and hopeless. I had already learned painful lessons about life and how people will use and abuse you. But I didn’t have the strength or the courage or the wisdom to use these lessons to protect myself and safeguard my life. Getting older has toughened me up to where I don’t go through the things I used to go through when I was younger. In my “best years” I hated myself and wanted to die because of how other people perceived me and treated me. My life from age 9 – 40 was a bleeping epic struggle to resist the impulse to kill myself. At no point during this period did I have the experience of blessings being poured over me just because I was “young”. Life didn’t conspire to see to it that during a certain period of time, say from age 15 – 35, I would know the so-called joys of youth. I had no peace. I felt no joy.
Today I have clarity and clarity is a beautiful thing. I won’t pretend life is so great. I won’t pretend I’m not still making mistakes, and I don’t still have things that aren’t right in my life; but would I trade being older and wiser and stronger for being where I was at 25? Not on your life.