Sunday, January 16, 2011

Twenty-One for Life!!

The year that I turned twenty-two, I, strangely enough, got confused and actually believed that I was only twenty-one! It took a heated discussion and several attempts at the math, (yes, as ridiculous as that sounds, it DID happen) I finally agreed, that I was a year older than I seemed to want to be. So, from that day on, I kind of kept it as an inside joke, with myself, that I would be twenty-one for life. Why not, twenty-one is legal worldwide, at that age you can “do whatever you want” and the world is fresh and new, yours for the taking!

Truth be told, even still, as the years continue to pass by, I feel more like seventeen on the inside. Of course I have learned multitudes since that time in my life, but beyond that growth, I do feel like a teenager inside in many ways! Some days, it feels like there is no way that fifteen years have passed, as the memories that I hold of that time still seem so vivid and fresh in my mind. Some of my hopes and beliefs exist in the same way that they did back then, and I am sure plenty of my “attitudes” and mannerisms are also a throw-back to the days of seventeen!

(Another little “truth” about the youth I feel inside; as I settle into my yoga pants and hoodie, although I do try to expand what I hear into whenever I get dressed and look in the mirror; I can hear my step-son telling me I look like a teenager. A few years ago, we were on a camping trip and were getting ready to sit and relax for the evening in front of the campfire; so we all had changed into our comfy clothes. Well, when I came out of the tent after changing, my step-son was reduced to giggles that he explained were because he thought I looked like a teenager!! I can’t really complain about hearing those sweet little words from an amazing little boy whenever I look in the mirror!)

But, seventeen and twenty-one, I am certainly not. I am now thirty-two years old, and feel everyday of it, with a large slice of open and free alongside. While I don’t think I am “old” by any stretch of the imagination, I am now what would be classified by others as an “adult”, a “woman” and I have even heard “cougar”, come on really?! I am hardly past thirty!! I can see the little lines that are beginning to invade my eyes and forehead, I can see how all of my skin seems to have lost a little of that much talked about “elasticity”…but my eyes still hold the same glint they always have, my hair is still long and blonde and I see much of the same “girl” in the mirror.

I don’t feel the way I imagine my mom did at thirty-two, or the way many of my friend’s mothers may have; and certainly I do not feel the way our grandmothers must’ve felt at thirty-two. Perhaps I have built a stereo-type in my head over the years of what would be expected for a women to be like at my age; but I realize how wrong that is/was, and even more so in this “day and age”.

While it may take a little tweaking and reminders to myself as I go along, I fully intend to stick with this twenty-one for life thing! The whole world is and will always be open to me; it is mine for the taking. I don’t think of myself as a “grown-up”, I am a growing up person; in the process of growing, not done growing and always growing. I don’t think, and I really hope, that I never truly “grow-up”; I don’t want to be done, life will not end or slow for me. I want to have fun while I continue to learn, grow and experience life as fully as a child experiences every new thing that they encounter. I don’t ever want to get stuck in believing that I can’t do something because I am not young enough, or because someone says that someone of such and such an age would not or should not do it.

So, here’s to twenty-one for life!!
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