I usually write a long, handwritten letter to myself on my birthday – but this year, I’ve decided to write it publicly. My birthday just passed, and I am more thankful than ever for another year to put under my belt. Many young people are so terrified of embarking into their late twenties, their thirties, any age past twenty-one. This post is for all of you.
There is nothing terrifying about getting old. The only terrifying part of aging is simply this: We are all afraid of not meeting some sort of societal standard dictated by our age, or we try to maintain a standard of who we used to be by living in the past. Fear of aging is simply the suffering caused by wanting to maintain something we once had, or wanting something we haven’t yet achieved.
Every moment we wake up on the right side of the dirt – that is our opportunity to grow, have more experiences, and work towards all the things that we want for ourselves. There are just some things that we can’t possibly learn until we have experienced life and its simply this:
- We learn to love ourselves despite what others think. Naturally, we want to be accepted. We all have done some incredibly stupid things to fit in. It isn’t until we grow into our skin and realize we are good enough just the way we are, what we don’t like we CAN change, and we can be surrounded by people who accept us.
- There are no regrets in life. We are human, we make mistakes, and whatever mistakes we have made… it’s ok. Why? Because at that very moment in time, that is what we wanted to do. The timelines that other people lived – it worked for them, and by no means should we EVER compare our own life to someone else. We will never walk in that exact path with their exact pair of shoes. Don’t beat yourself up for not graduating when everyone else did, or the fact that you’re single and everyone else isn’t. It’s all OK!
- Stretch marks and wrinkles – don’t stress over them! They are the battle scars of how far we all have come along in this life! Some were made in happiness, others in time of distress, but all of them have made us to who we are today!
- There’s beauty in the breakdown. Frou Frou said it best, and it’s so true. It’s the difficult parts of life that we learn to cope and deal with that make the sweetest moments in life that much more sweet.
- We learn to set boundaries in all aspects of life. We don’t really learn how to set boundaries until we experience life. I’m telling all of y’all right now – it’s OK to do so. It’s ok to say what you will and won’t put up with. It’s ok to ditch anything or anyone that doesn’t serve your goals to be happy and healthy.
- We learn to enjoy our own company. It took me a bit of time to reach this point, and I honestly can’t believe I didn’t learn this sooner. It’s ok to go to the movie theater alone, or have a “me” day without having company. It is when we are truly alone that we learn how much we are worth as human beings, and we learn what it is that truly makes us who we are. There are no clouded judgements and outside opinions when we are alone. We can embrace our uniqueness and thoughts and go into the world with everything we know we have to offer.
- We learn to cope with life, let go, and move forward. No one can ever teach you how to deal with a breakup, getting fired, losing a loved one. When things get difficult, we know there is light on the other side. We only suffer from the couldashouldawouldas when we hold stop holding onto good moments in life and we fail to embark new chapters of our life. Do I wish I still have my figure when I was in highschool? Sure. Do I wish that I had a different financial situation? Sure. But I am learning to deal with all of my insecurities and find every new day as an opportunity to build something new. What has happened, happened – and I move forward. Life isn’t always daisies and unicorns, but I learned to let go of how things used to be, and I embrace what will be.
- We learn to be a better judge of character. Fitting in is usually the primary goal when we are young. However, for the sake of fitting in, many of us at one point or another surround ourselves with people that aren’t good for us. We let people into our lives that are toxic. It isn’t until we encounter these people that we learn all of the “red flags” of people we need to avoid. We start to consciously choose the people we want to be around that let us grow. We start surrounding people that are good for us at every level of existence.
Next time y’all start stressing over age – just remember, you’ve made it this far, and you’ve made it this far for a reason. Not only have you aged, but you have gained so much wisdom that could not have happened without age.