What growing older means.

I turned 30 this month – finally an age I can blurt out without having to think first. The years between 25 and 30 are all a blur really, stuck at 26 on some days and at 29 on others. Most people dread getting older. I welcome it. It is the one thing that is constant and known and I can therefore prepare for it before hand. Well, prepare as much as possible.

So, what has 3 decades taught me?

The idea I love the most about finally being 30 is that I no longer have to be “young”. I no longer fit in amongst those individuals who have to pretend to care what others think; who struggle to be grown up but fight to hold on to youth; who try to act like adults but are really still just children. I can very honestly state that I am growing older in age but younger in life. It’s like turning 30 flicked a switch where I can now be under the radar – too old for aunties to nag about “staying out the sun because your complexion will be ruined” and too old for people to be interested in trying to shape your life to suit their dreams.

To explain it differently, I read the following quote, “Capricorns were born adults and become more youthful with age.” While I agree with the general idea of this statement my interpretation is slightly different. Age provides us with the permission we require to behave the way our inner child/voice would want us to behave. I was always driven by morals, values and rules that were imposed by other individuals’ ideas and restrictions but age allows you to start being driven by your own beliefs and rules. I am not saying that I am now a rebel who will just act anyway and say anything I please – granted this would be ideal – but what I am saying is that the underlying driving force of my actions is now changing. It is being driven less and less by society and more and more by that inner voice in me.

Here is a truly personal example of what I have learnt: I am an introvert. For years I tried to change this because it was seen as antisocial by the people surrounding me. I married an extrovert; went to parties (even though I would fall asleep before hand in the hopes that no one would wake me up and I’d be left alone); tried to be friends with as many people as possible in the hopes of being seen as sociable and a fit. But this is not who I am. I struggle in crowds; with new faces and really do get tired from walking in the mall for an hour. I prefer one-on-one conversations; small, intimate lunches/dinners and I listen better when my attention is focused on one person at a time. I feel better when my attention is focused on one person at a time. I remember more when my attention is focused on one person at a time. I am not saying that I will never attend a party again. What I am saying though is that I will be myself when I attend a party. If I want to talk I will talk. If I do not want to I will not. And this doesn’t mean I am not friendly or not normal (look up the definition of antisocial and you will see that I do not fit in there either). I am saying I will be myself, on that day. Whatever self of me I feel like showing. 

And that is what age allows. If you let it.

One thought on “What growing older means.

  1. Silindile says

    A very welcome return. Thank you for making us (or just me) feel not so old and set in our ways. Introvert married to an extrovert…I definitely understand!


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