bjarvis: (Default)
OK, I'm now fifty years old. A half-century. Five decades. 18,262 days (remembering that 2000 wasn't a leap year). About 60% of my lifespan.

Surprisingly, fifty feels pretty good.

With age comes experience, and I'm better equipped mentally & emotionally to handle life now that at any point prior in my life. By gradual accumulation, I have financial & professional stability I would have envied when I was in my twenties. I am surrounded by a crowd of friends & family, including to my enormous surprise children & grandchildren (via marriage, but that's not significant). I'm also healthier & stronger than I've ever been, despite last year's knee surgery and minor issues from time to time. On the whole, I'm at the peak and it's all downhill from here.

The oddest sensation is that a huge burden of imposter syndrome has lifted away. I no longer feel like I'm faking being an adult: I am finally an adult now, in my internalized self-image.

I think I've been going through the motions of being a responsible adult since I was ten. I could do the work, I could keep up with the crowd, and I could handle the responsibility, but I wasn't physically the right age. Even if one is considered an adult at age 18, it's not quite true: proper maturity takes several more years. Biologically, our brains aren't even finished baking until the mid-twenties. In my thirties & forties, I still felt like I was the child being permitted at the grown-ups table, acceptable but not really accepted.

Today, there are no further doubts. There is something about that magic (and admittedly arbitrary) number of fifty in which all parts of me are finally in congruence. If there's any misalignment left, it's my mental image of me with brown hair rather than full grey, but that's all.

So this is what internal peace feels like. I kinda like it.

Now why hasn't AARP called yet?

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