This year, for reasons that are still unclear to me, I feel as though my youth is behind me. Since I’ve been in my twenties, I have not felt a single iota older save an occasional physical pain. It occurs to me that there are many things I have done wrong, many that to my own surprise I have done well, but most importantly, much yet to be done.
Though I do not wish to be an American version of Jeanne Louise Calment just for the sake of it, I want to grow old enough to say whatever I want without fear of the political correctness police getting in my grill. I hope to be appreciated for my experience even if it is not all “good”, and to have a small group of good friends and family who will always be as interested to know what I will do or say next, as I am in them.
I want to be the oldest person in a room, prepared to tell my stories to the very youngest who do not yet have the maturity to understand that some may be slightly embellished for effect, and with the complicity of their parents who know better, but who allow the ruse.
There’s a sense that I have lived my life in reverse, that I have never “fit in” age-wise. When I was a young teen, my closest friends were older teens and college students. In my twenties, my best friends were in their thirties and forties. Today my best acquaintances are my juniors by decades, in their twenties and thirties.
Both they and I are aware of their vacillation between enjoying my company enough to hang out, or skipping my presence on occasion. They all offer me something that my contemporaries today cannot or do not; youthful chaos and fearless enthusiasm with a large dose of I-have-no-idea-how-harsh-life-is. I suppose it’s for this reason that I have little desire to be with people of my own generation.
I am acutely aware of the passage of time– the months, the weeks, days, hours, minutes and even the seconds. It’s as though time is a snowball gathering speed, and I fear an inability to fill each moment of my life as if each day is my last.
AARP keeps sending me info which I can only assume is a mistake. After all, 50 could only be a figment of my imagination. It was just a year or two ago that I left high school with an attitude, brains and ambition. Without any fear of failure, I had no clear goals.
Thinking about it this past week, I posed the question in an informal anonymous online poll, “What age is over the hill?” The answer, “50” was the clear, overwhelming majority. Non-scientific, I’ll admit.
What is it about 50 that is such a milestone? For anniversaries, it’s known as golden. Why on earth is that?
This is my attempt to discern what makes 50 a pivotal point. Not just the age, the number itself. I’ll delve into all things 50: age, numerology, art, music, and other interesting discoveries along the way. Follow me on this journey, no matter where you are in the time continuum.