I have no desire to return to my youth. I feel like I forget more and more of my past with each new day.
It all happened and was once my reality, but it really doesn’t have much to do with me.
I’ve found the first half of my thirties to be some of the best years of my life. It feels like things keep getting better. I am eager to approach my forties.
I do not dye my hair because each new grey hair feels like a small trophy. Like a bit of wisdom nestled into my bones that I get to witness. I have tried with all my might to get them to sprout in a patch around the layers that frame my face, but they have chosen to scatter about. Just like the lessons that I’ve learned here and there throughout this life.
I do have a young teen daughter. And it’s made me reflective and deeply cognizant of how hard those years are— the becoming and growing and trusting. It’s difficult. It was difficult in the late 90’s, early 2000’s & we didn’t have cell phones and social media. What the kids today are dealing with as they come of age is truly unprecedented. I feel for them. To have this stage of life chronicled and ridiculed digitally— whew. No thank you.
And the filters. And the filtered make-up tutorials. These impossible beauty standards being thrown their way.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that we, as their elders, embrace our humanity and in that— our aging bodies. We are called to gracefully lead them and help them see that there is more for them outside of image and the curating of it. That life does in fact get better as you get older and that their time in school is just a small blip on an infinite and big full lifetime.
I’ve seen some silliness around Gen Z teasing millennials— I think it’s good. I think we millennials have refused to grow up for too long. The children are calling us out so we can embrace that we are no longer children ourselves. We have bigger fish to fry than skinny jeans and side parts. We are part of the revolution and reclamation of a world hellbent on destroying us all.
Who cares about cool. About appearing young. I do believe my generation has spent way too much time preoccupied with our youth that we’ve forgotten something fundamental about our humanity— that many of us have missed out on a lot of things that come with growing older.
We are maturing. We have entered the time of our lives where we actually know who we are, what we love and can be unapologetic about it. There is no group to pressure us. No confusion of youth. We are able to embrace the totality of who we are with love and acceptance.
And we get to model that to the generations after us— Gen Z, Gen Alpha and on and on it goes.
How amazing, truly.
We must embrace our maturity with grace and fire. We are grown and it’s wild. I love it so very much. I hope you do, too.