When I left my marriage, I was 41. After 24 years of trying to make someone else happy, I surrendered that lofty goal and began the journey to make myself
happy. I will never forget going to see my 91 year old grandmother, my Nana, shortly after leaving. She was elated. Elated! She said (and I quote!), "You are 41! Your whole LIFE is ahead of you!"
She herself was in a 'less than happy' SIXTY SEVEN YEAR marriage to my Grandpa and, by 91, she was ready to admit that unhappiness. She went on to tell me that she WISHED she would have been able to leave the marriage when she was 41...OH the things she would have done.
I'll always remember the 18 months she had after my Grandfather died. Probably the happiest I had ever seen her. She could do what she wanted, SAY what she wanted...THINK what she wanted. She could have PEACH jelly and not have someone tell her how stupid she was for liking peach.
She died just days before her 95th birthday.
ALL that to say, I think about my Nana all the time...and I never EVER feel old.
NEVER. I LOVE where I am and, honestly, I believe I have already BEEN an old lady!
I was an old lady when I was 21 with two babies and a man who told me I was fat and stupid. I was an old lady as I waited tables for 15 years while running to classes at Cal State Fullerton and doing homework with my little kids as laundry was running, dinner was cooking...and life was ticking by. Hell, I was an old lady when I was 15 and had four little sisters, the youngest in diapers, all needing help with something...and a mother telling me to bring her an Oreo as she sat and watched 'As the World Turns.'
Life started over for me in 2005. After that first (extremely) rough year, life got REALLY good. I was young for the first time in my whole life. I was able to SAY what I wanted and THINK what I wanted and have peach jelly all day long! The following 11 years have been full of TRUE adventure and international travel and deepening friendships and baseball games and rendezvous (the plural of rendezvous is the same word--and there were MANY!) and OH so much JOY!
So, when my friends begin to say that they are 'old' I quite literally get angry. I cannot stand it! I know that I've done old and this is not it! I believe I am aging gracefully and quite happily. And enjoying every morsel of life while I'm at it.
I like who I am right now. LOVE my life right now. And am OH so grateful for Nana's words of encouragement 11 years ago. She was right. My whole life is ahead of me.