It was a few months back that I came across an article citing Julianne Moore’s response to comments made to her about aging. “You’re aging gracefully”- that’s it, that’s the common phrase. A phrase that warranted a response from the actress that combats both sexism and ageism. “There’s so much judgment inherent in the term ‘aging gracefully’. Is there an ungraceful way to age? We don’t have an option about aging, so it’s not a positive or a negative thing, it just is” Moore shared. Her sentiments led me to deeper thoughts on the subject matter and I couldn’t help but to challenge the negative connotations and beliefs associated with aging, associated with something so natural, something that “just is” as Moore eloquently explained. While acknowledging the mere fact that aging is inevitable and simply a part of life, I grew to not only accept that fact but also to look at the benefits of aging and the beauty in the concept of time.
I began to view aging from a different perspective, a perspective rooted in gratitude. Each day, week, month, or year that is granted to us is a gift full of new opportunities. A new chapter, that we have the freedom to write. Where each day that passes by gives us a chance to learn and explore more than we did the days (and years) before. I’m learning to acknowledge and appreciate time for the gift that it is. The gift that keeps giving even in our darkest days where we aren’t necessarily searching for it. Time gives us a shot at new beginnings, extended memories with loved ones, and space to evolve. Space to become who we want to be and space to even scratch those plans and start all over if needed.
Aging presents us with the opportunity to try on different shoes without making any obligations. It provides us with the opportunity to discover new people, create new bonds and it eases us of the burden of feeling stuck in a place where we have no choice but to remain hopeless. As each year goes by, it gifts a new sense of hope. A sense of hope that is so deeply personal with a narrative that we are mostly in control of. A narrative written by us, for us, as we figure out this thing called “life”. As we make mistakes, learn from them, rinse and repeat. And if we ever get so lucky, aging gives us the chance to meet multiple versions of ourselves that we will ideally continue to fall more and more in love with.
At least, that’s what aging is doing for me. It’s the reason why at thirty-one years old, I feel the need to boisterously refer to this chapter in life as “Thirty Won” as each year leading up to this one has presented me with all of the opportunities I mentioned earlier. Aging is what lead me to the beautiful journey of motherhood and it’s what continues to extend me the grace of figuring it out as I go along. Allowing me to shift and re-focus as needed. Most importantly, granting me the opportunity to build myself into a person that I can be proud of. So that even when the gift that keeps giving has nothing left to give, I can walk away knowing that I made the most of all the years that were given to me.