Monday, October 03, 2005

On Being 53

In the early years of adulthood, more often than not a birthday was joy filled and forward looking. At some point during the last two decades, it also became a point to look back, sometimes just reviewing the year behind, and other times to look over the decades past.

What does it mean to be fifty three years old? First is the obvious, only the facts sort of notation -- that I have lived fifty-three years, or five decades plus three, or two score and thirteen, or simply more than half a century with thirty-five of those years as an adult on my own terms. It is a marker, a touch point of linear time; otherwise I don't really know what it means.

The number (every one of these past age forty-nine) continues to amaze me for various reasons, most of which I won't touch on here, but mixed in there are some typical 'how did I get here' and 'where am I going now' things.

I know more than I knew in my early adulthood and less than I knew then. The amount of things that I might never have a chance to know increases every year. I am comfortable in my own skin most of the time, while being less sure just exactly who this is in my own skin. The 'me that is' grows, expands; pieces drop off and are sometimes collected and sometimes left by the roadside. I feel as if I remain elusive as a fixed entity, yet I can sometimes see glimpses of this person who has been here all along. I trust in my ability to draw from whatever aspects of me are needed in any moment including drawing on many- as opposed to just the 'pleasing to others' ones. I trust in my ability to know. I am less concerned with being right in other's eyes, and more concerned with living my truths as I find them- however contradictory they might seem from outside.

I have looked for the owner's manual, the rule book, the guideposts, the signs that I was on some "right path", while becoming more convinced I am the only one who knows this particular right path and convinced that the only right path for me is the one that feels right this moment. I know with a certainty that I am and things are-whatever I perceive and believe them to be-- and none of that is written in any stone I have found.

I believe this to be autumn, my favorite season. I hope to linger here a while.

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