i woke up older today.

it has always been my firm belief that if the actual time of your birth is in the late afternoon or evening, then you did not wake up on the day of your birth older. and being born at 5:55pm on april 19 means that only this morning did i wake up older.

so, what will be the outcome of getting older? i don't dislike the whole getting older thing in principle. i think that what i dislike is the boxes that get drawn around you in regards to your age, by others and by our own expectations. by 25 we should have these things figured out. by 30 a whole other set. by 40...well, let's not go there.

in order to help me figure it out, i have to turn to a woman whose words and life have inspired and challenged me over the years. in The Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L'Engle wrote these words about maturity,
"...I will also grow into maturity, where the experience which can be acquired only through chronology will teach me how to be more aware, open, unafraid to be vulnerable, involved, committed, to accept disagreement without feeling threatened (repeat and underline this one), to understand that I cannot take myself seriously until I stop taking myself seriously--to be, in fact, a true adult."
and being a dichotomy myself, i love that a little later, in the same book she also wrote:
"I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what 'putting away childish things' means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and 'be' fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup."
a challenge, to be sure. but i don't want to grow up any other way.

a new year begins...


Kathy said...

I guess a 'happy birthday' is in order! happy birthday! i like you, don't like the expectations that people put on each other and themselves regarding certain birthday milestones. it's unfair and God has different plans for each of our lives.

also, i enjoy every year. each is an adventure. and i say that without a bit of being cliche. :-)

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