I am not old. Let’s just be clear about that. However I am, apparently, aging. Recently I’ve had two people say to me variations of “Well, you’re 37, so you’re coming to the end of your fertile years.” Here’s the issue – don’t these people know that I STILL FEEL 25?!?!?!?
Okay, it’s true that my stomach isn’t quite as forgiving of poor eating as it once was and that I have to pay attention to stretching. But other than that, my body and spirit still feel 25. People frequently mistake me for being in my 20s.
My editor at the newsroom is only two years older than I am, but it feels like we’re not even on the same ball field. He has growing kids and responsibilities. He seems like an adult. I feel like the cub reporter. When I discovered that he’s only two years older than me, I almost croaked. Not because I thought he should be in his 40s, but because it was so clear to me in that moment that I still feel like a child most of the time.
When I put together my list of soulmate qualities, I had a hard time quantifying this piece of it – I wanted someone who would be mature but could also match me in youthful energy. The distinction I finally came to was “childlike but not childish.”
MBE showed up in a really extraordinary way in this regard – he is absolutely grown up and mature, and yet he lets his six year old come out to play frequently. Which pushes me to let my six year old come out to play. And sometimes it’s a challenge because, frankly, my 25-year-old self still feels like the six year old is just a tad immature and should be kept under wraps. It’s a great lesson for me every time MBE’s six year old comes out to play.
To suddenly have my physical age (and my reproductive viability) showing up as a topic of conversation is rather disconcerting. It’s not that I want to have children (because I don’t), but it’s weird to think that the time is coming when I will no longer have that option.
On the other hand – how lucky am I that I’m in my late 30s and still feel like I’m in my early to mid 20s? If age truly is a state of mind, then I’m in great shape!