Wisdom and Roadblocks

I’ve been binge-watching the show Younger for the last few weeks, and in addition to being entertained by the program, I’m intrigued by the idea of going back in time and starting over, knowing now what I wish I knew then.

I remember my twenties as agony, my thirties as much greater fun. As my body calls out with daily new aches and pains, I long for the time when age wasn’t catching up with me. With what I’ve learned up to this point in my life, think of what I could do with all that health.

Me at 27 — or 29 — doesn’t matter, it was a long time ago.

There are moments, somewhat fleeting, when I’d love to be 27 and have the full opportunity to start a new career, with a lifetime of growth in that field ahead of me. In my mind, I can picture myself as professional, successful, innovative, and admired for my deftness in cutting edge work. I have long hair and a stylish wardrobe, and if my lipstick wears off, I doesn’t dangerously age me.

As intriguing as the idea of a second chance may be, it discounts the opportunities available to me today. Yes, youth has its advantages and its appeal in the workplace. But for many, too many, it comes with limitations, arrogancy and insecurity.

Younger isn’t a going-back-in-time show, it’s a pretending-to-be-14-years-younger-than-you-really-are show. The reality is, I do, in fact, look younger than a lot of women my age. Not 14 years, but enough. It’s heredity, and I’m thankful for it. Still, not enough to pretend I actually am in my 40s, with all the opportunities that still exist for women of that generation. That’s because, at some point, in some way, I’d have to return to the angst of that decade. And as Younger shows us, you can’t escape who you are.

I’m best at being who I am today. At times confused, somewhat scared, yet more than anything else, optimistic. In recent years I have been blessed with greater wisdom and insight, and a more relaxed attitude toward life. I don’t worry as much about what others think, I see through the lies and pandering of popular media, and I’m better about standing up for myself. Far from perfect there, but I no longer fear the consequences of saying “you can’t treat me like that.”

There is a reason I am where I am today, and given the chance to take my life experience and place it in my resurrected 27-year-old body would fail the human experience somehow. I am meant to be taking risks, making friends, loving my family and defining my priorities in part by the age I am, with all the gifts and drawbacks that brings.

Me today. Yes, I’d prefer it if wearing my hair long didn’t age me. But in the scheme of things, that ranks low on the happiness scale.

Authenticity and being true to oneself are such lofty terms. I don’t seek my authentic self. That self is already here. I seek integrity in my actions, reality coupled with creativity in my goals, and those precious moments when my cat curls up in my lap and purrs himself to sleep. I have my insecurities, but they don’t dominate my life like they used to do. I have my responsibilities, and I seek to meet them.

Authentically, honestly, I am 56 years old. That brings baggage and relief, wisdom and roadblocks. It is like any other age, with limitations, frustrations and opportunities. Life is a journey, one you are constantly having to re-navigate. Thankfully the tools get better with age. After all, I now have more wisdom and experience to break through those roadblocks.

Radical Authenticity

20 Replies to “Wisdom and Roadblocks”

  1. I’m with you. As much as it might be nice to go back, there is so much gained with greater wisdom as we age. And roadblocks don’t seem as big somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have great taste in TV viewing, Belinda. I love Younger. I don’t have cable or dish but a friend records it and sends it to me to watch on my computer. I also love it when you go on a roll reading my blog. Thanks for your continued interest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t have cable for a couple of years and while I’d heard of it, I hadn’t seen it. As for going on a roll, I simply can’t keep up with all the blogs I follow on a daily basis, so there tend to be spurts of reading!!!! I hope no one minds…I admire those who can keep up with it on a regular schedule!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you can wear your hair however long you’d like. Cindy Crawford and Christy Brinkley have long hair. I too watch Younger and while Sutton Foster may not look 40, I don’t think she looks 26. I’d like to be younger only because our society is youth obsessed when it comes to women. But there is NO WAY I’d do it all over again without my 57 year old brain!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see so many similarities between us, Belinda. I agreed with everything you wrote. I just turned 57 and am amazed how quickly this “50’s” decade is going. I’m not ready for 60 yet, but I’m certain it will grab me before I realize it. I love my wisdom and appreciation for life in ways that are quite different from my youth. Thanks for writing such an inspiring post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Belinda I love your hair, you are beautiful! I’m 43 and like my 40s the best. (I’d be having the time of my life if I didn’t have to live with severe pain). I wasn’t happy in my 20s either. I’m appreciative of the School of Life and becoming more compassionate towards others as well as kinder to myself. And, knowing myself better.
    🐻 💙 🐈 🐱 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

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