I recently ran into an old friend at a restaurant. She was celebrating her birthday with her friends and I gave her a celebratory hug. She simply replied that she was just relieved that she was still in her 20’s. It got me thinking…how do I feel about being in my 30’s? How do I feel about aging? How do I feel that my friend basically dreads being my age? Legitimately my stress with aging is disappearing by the hour.
I can honestly say that I have never been more comfortable with myself at 35. I feel more wholly me everyday. The expectations I have on myself are on whatever makes me and my family happy. It is SUCH a beautiful place to be.
Here is the thing, if I am being honest, I have a few too many wrinkles than I would like, I have so many awkward stretch marks and I have way too many gray hairs showing through. But, I also recognize every single wrinkle on my face represents a moment in my life that has made me who I am today…genuine laugh lines encircle my eyes and deep and heartbreaking sadness is etched into my forehead. Every stretch mark is a pull from literally creating my children and every gray hair, including the patch of silver hair on my left temple, represents a time of perseverance, of making it through the other side.
I feel like I am becoming more and more forgiving and gracious with myself as I move forward in my life. I recognize my strengths and my heart way before my outside appearance now and I imagine that will only become more and more the case as the years move forward. I am definitely far from perfect, but I also feel less stressed about my weaknesses as well. It is almost like I am just accepting of myself….flaws and all….take me or leave me!
I probably won’t feel so comfortable with age the night before my 40th birthday but I hope I will. I know I will feel better about turning 40 than I did about turning 30. I guess what I am saying is, that old friend of mine, or young friend of mine 😂, doesn’t realize how amazed she will be with herself in 5 years. As women we have told ourselves that getting older is the enemy. Age is just a number, but if you could measure the heart…I have more capacity for love than I ever knew was possible and that grows every day. The human spirit is a beautiful gift and those wrinkles, stretch marks and gray hairs? I guess they are too! A gift of strength. I can do hard things. We all can.