I am the oldest today I have ever been.
Of course, that’s true. It will be true tomorrow, too, but today is different. Today I feel it – not just in my bones, but in my soul. Today the desires of my youth feel foolish. There are things, experiences, dreams that simply won’t come true for me, and I have to accept it. Today I feel the death of dreams, and I can’t seem to stop crying.
I weep for the death of the young woman I was, the woman who would throw caution to the wind and drive cross country, the woman who would try to run a marathon, who thought she could write the great American novel, who craved love, just love, only love. I’m so responsible now, and that’s a good thing, I guess, so why does it feel like death? (My sweet mama would not have approved of this navel contemplation. “Stop your boohooing,” is what she would have scolded. I wish she was here to scold me now.)
Maybe this is just my mid-life crisis. I’m probably well past mid-life, so that’s wishful thinking, too. I am 46 years old, and I know I’m old because I wanted to lie to you about my age just now. I want to be 30, or even 40, still young enough to dream, young enough to want. At what age should we stop dreaming because, hey, it is just not going to happen. Your life is about taking care of people, which is noble and filled with meaning, but that is what your life is about. Let go. Fall into the feather bed of caring for your family and stop longing for the freedom to run through the fields.
Forgive this pity party. I just don’t know how to navigate the end of this stage in my life and the entering of the next. I have often thought that I’d like to be an old crone one day, a woman you wouldn’t be afraid to swear in front of, a woman who could hear all of your truth and still shock you with her own. I just didn’t realize until today that I was already becoming one.