Another year older … and another year wiser, or so they say.
Today, I am celebrating yet another anniversary of my 29th birthday and do indeed feel older and wiser than I did on the first 29th celebration. The “older” part took some getting use to, and I didn’t take nicely to the thought of “being old” for a long while. Occassionally, it still stings a little. But, for the most part; I’ve learned to embrace it and see the beauty of where I am now in my life and the blessings God has provided. I’ve learned that maturity doesn’t mean you are old and I’m amazed that my mother, Zsa Zsa, was indeed right … as a teenager and 20 something you think you know it all; one day you wake up and realize you didn’t. I, myself, have had that unique experience of realizing how little I really did know along with a few good laughs that started with “what was I thinking…”.
I vividly recall my 25th birthday, when I sat at lunch with two coworkers who I didn’t know all that well and one asked “when is your birthday?”. Ironic since it was that very day, I almost started tearing up when I answered “today”. At 25, I hated the thought of getting “older” and just couldn’t fathom the thought of being in my “mid 20s”. Being in my "mid 20s" represented the need to be a responsible adult and in my young mind that meant the end of my independence, my fun and the things that I loved about being in my “early 20s” and carefree.
But, embrace those things you cannot change, right? The reality of it is that no matter how many anti-aging product I bought, I couldn’t stop the process. And so I rationalized that I must accept my status of being in my “mid 20s” and since that time have had to also conquer my fear of the 30s. With age comes wisdom, or perhaps a lack of care for trivial things like a number and so I press on, humorously celebrating my anniversary of 29 time and time again. This time, the anniversary came much faster and didn’t sting nearly like previous numbers. I prefer to think that’s a sign of personal growth, or maybe just that I’m too old to care.
Nonetheless, each year since the tearful 25th, I take a moment to reflect on the things that I’ve learned throughout the year and what personal growth message I’ve realized. One life lesson is selected and I write it down as the most impactful thing I’ve learned this year. Maybe one day these will be expanded into some elaborate story of my life, but for now; the simple list serves as a reminder of what I felt at that age and how far I’ve grown as a person. So yes, Zsa Zsa … you were right … I didn’t know everything at 16, 19 or even 24. Perhaps I still don’t, but the difference is that I’ve embraced that and look forward to the life lessons ahead.