They say age is like wine, it gets better with time.
I’m not sure who they are, but I couldn’t agree more. Life’s bit bittersweet with a flaky exterior. If I were to define age it would be the conscious knowledge of a number, and yet the fleeting feeling of freedom. When I was a child, I would wonder who I would be one day. What does it even mean to be? In the Spanish language it conforms to: ser, to be….
To be or not to be, that’s always the question, isn’t it? I have been an official adult for twenty years now. I am not sure of everything I have learned and how I could possibly put it into words. I think the description would need to be written as multiple stories instead.
All I truly feel is: gratitude. This gratitude for just being, going back in time to my writing of the Hebrew phrase: hineni: here I am.
Being in motion.
How lucky am I? I think I am similar, and also very much changed. I don’t make room for as many things anymore. I shed them like a cloak each year that I realize the lack of importance they held. Take for instance, doubt.
If I had given into doubt, I wouldn’t be here, writing, this, sharing it on the ethers of the internet.
If I had given into doubt, I wouldn’t have the memory of us holding hands in a foreign land and comforting her in the largest trial of time.
If I had doubted my gut instinct and not held his hand that one day, I wouldn’t be here with my family today.
If I had doubted my abilities, I wouldn’t have sung in that room with a panel of music faculty members judging my every move, and been awarded a scholarship.
If I had doubted my kindness, I would not have made my lifelong friend again and passed her paper in study hall.
If I had doubted my hope I would not have believed in rainbows after the storm and held both of my babies close to my heart.
If I had doubted my self-worth I wouldn’t face my fears and discuss them monthly with a trained professional therapist.
If I had given into my doubt I wouldn’t submit and submit, and revise, and edit, and resubmit my stories again and again.
If I had given into my doubt, I wouldn’t have crossed the 13.1 finish line and completed a half marathon three years after taking my first steps as a runner.
If I had given into doubt, I wouldn’t have made countless friends and spent hours at a dance studio I called my second home.
If I had given into fear I wouldn’t have a fifteen minute birth story and a beautiful human to care for.
Doubt is like your shadow. It tags along for the ride, trying to pull you back, or pull you down. But at some point, you must know how to embrace it. Remember that first time you discovered her? The shadow friend waved back, didn’t she? Sometimes doubt, and fear can high five you, just to see how far you have come, and give you a nudge to keep going.
Life is like that too. All the shadow friends fall behind, as you turn and face the light. It’s better if you look up most days. Take a power stance, and find the light of the sun, or the moon, and allow its shine to lift you up towards the sky.
Cheers to 38, the strong years, and all the ones that came before. They made me into this human form that helps me charge forth with passion and integrity.