Growing. Growing up. Grown up. Growing old. Old.
Why does it seem that everyone is getting younger and younger? Or is it just that as I go through my own life journey, I realize how very young I was when I was that age??
The area I live in has a tourist season which brings lots of young people from all over the world. Late teens, early-mid 20's. Free. Traveling. Having fun. No worries (or from this perspective 20 years later knowing that there were rarely any real worries in the long run!) Not worrying about tomorrow, today. Not having a care. And now that you mention it, not yet knowing exactly what it is they should be caring about in the first place. Ahhhh, the bliss of youth.
A girlfriend of mine had a chuckle the other day. I'm 41 and she's turning 42 soon. Since we do live in this youth attracting area, it is really just about the only place on earth that we've been considered an "older woman". What a hoot!
I caught myself watching a table of 3 of these "youngsters" at a bar the other night. I'd say they were between the ages of 18-20, from somewhere in South America. Young. Flawless. Beautiful. Free. Laughing. And (hopefully) with their whole lives ahead of them. They can choose anything at this point. I started to flashback/daydream about myself at the age. The choices I made. The roads those decisions led me down. And it's funny because at that age, you have no idea what the outcome will be. Or how much potential you have. You only come to those realizations by making the choices, good or bad, and traveling the roads to which they lead.
But you know, "youth" is a funny thing. It's determined from what point in time you take a look. I may look at these travelers I encounter and think they are so young and with the vast world in front of them. But 20 years ago, I was that young woman to someone and to someone 20 years older than me, I still am.
This occurred to me recently when I met two women I'd estimate to be in their early 70's. We chatted about how I came to be living in this tropical paradise and all the standard questions "do you like it here?", "did you come alone?" The one woman looks at the other and says "ahhhh, to have so much time and opportunity left."
And she's right.
What a strange world it is that puts so many head-trips on the impossible task of remaining young forever. I think it is so easy to lose sight of the fact that no matter where you are in this youth-game, you still have what's ahead of you - ahead.
In the end, you just gotta embrace where you are and realize, that you are TODAY the youngest you will be for the rest of your life.