Milestones till gravestones

In just over a year I will reach that milestone of age, fifty, the big five-o, half a century, and starting today I have begun to think about it.

Never in my life have I ever imagined or day dreamed, or even considered my life after 50. It has always been a far off number of meaningless consequence. A distant wall over the horizon, out of sight and out of mind. What mystery lay on the other side unsought, but now as I find myself hurdling at that lengthening shadow, I have to acknowledge its existence and begin to wonder what I will find on the other side as I crash through. Already I speed through its immense shadow at breakneck speed, ever accelerating towards..what?

Age has not concerned me since childhood, when reaching those magical dates represented freedom. Freedom of naps, freedom of bed time, freedom of school, freedom of parents, freedom of alcohol, but as each of those dates passed, the changes were a grey image of the bright future promised, and over time, the anticipation dimmed.

Somewhere in my twenties I changed, not an exact age, not a set milestone, just one day I came out of a cocoon of ridicule and doubt, and chose to be who I wanted to be. I lost a lot of friends during that metamorphosis, people who had decided my path for me and objected that I wouldn’t walk it any longer.

From that day to this, I have been happy with my decision, and have no regrets over the changes I made that made me a better person for me. I am, who I wanted to be. Not as rich, or famous as I imagined, but a better person perhaps because of the struggles.

Now a new milestone approaches. Do I fear it? Am I apprehensive? No.

It’s just another year of me being me, same as last year, same as the next year. I struggle, I grow, I evolve and I enjoy life, sometimes as a twenty something thrill seeker, sometimes as a mature thinker, and at times, on my knees staring at a bug with the wonder of a toddler. Age is meaningless, intent is all, experience the reward.

As a wise friend said today.

“A thirty year old with twenty years experience”

I couldn’t have said it better myself…or with so few words.


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