Earlier this month, I had the rare privilege to go shopping with one of my most favorite friends. I met Michelle while I was moon lighting as an ER nurse and decided that she HAD to be my friend instantly. We don’t get to spend too much time together but when we do I am grateful. While we were trying on clothes and catching up, we had a conversation that really made me think. We both remarked that one of the gifts of getting older is that we find ourselves really not caring too much what other people think of us. For a few moments our apathy made us feel brave and untouchable, and then we moved on and discussed an equally important topic, “How many sequins are too many?”
Driving home, our conversation about not caring came back to me. I decided that we were speaking in half truths. I think the impulse of not caring stems from something much more sacred, that we did not realize or admit to each other that day. I believe that the truth is that we do care but the person that we care about is ourselves. We have worked hard and fought too many battles to become who we are to hand ourselves over to another person’s comments. We also understand that most of the hurtful or unkind things that are said rarely have anything to do with the receiver. That each of us on this earth only have our own telescope from which to view our lives and the people in it, and that sometimes those telescopes do not come equipped with kindness or understanding and that is not our fault.
I can only speak for myself, but there are many people who are my wise advisers who I would listen to if they took the time to have a heartfelt conversation with me. These are the people that I have chosen and who have chosen me to be a sounding board when times or situations are tough. It is to them that I look when I need direction and for them I am grateful.
36 happened for me last week and I am already in love with it. I am settling in to the confidence that age brings, and welcoming the gray hairs too. I am more comfortable in the skin that is marching to forty (and beyond) than I ever was when I was 21 or even 25. Life gets better and sweeter when you have seen what I have seen and loved who I have loved.