Saturday, June 22, 2013

Old Girl on the Block

In one month I will be 55. Old enough to be categorized by McDonalds as a senior deserving of the discount cup of coffee. But the latent 13 year old in me sometimes forgets. Often I feel as if I am not old enough to:
be in charge
know things
have a title (like Mrs.)

But I am no longer the new kid on the block. By this time of life others should be able to look to me for some semblence of example or role model. One never feels ready or fit for such things. But with age comes responsibility.

Which is why when I take my near daily walk around the park, I speak a friendly greeting to the catatonic young man who never speaks to anyone as he walks slowly, headphones on, staring straight ahead.  To show him how it's done, because  perhaps no one has, or perhaps his personal burdens are too great to reach outside himself. And why I welcome all kinds of teens in my home, even the strange looking ones. And why I'm working on being an inclusive person rather than an exclusive one, and opening my mind to as many new things and ideas as I can.

It is high time I began that stretch of life where I focus on what others need from me and not remain paralyzed in the quandry of "am I worthy?" That is a dialogue that never ends well.

So as I near what can only be described as the second half of my life (okay the math is a little off here, I've passed that mark) I feel a new confidence, a new compulsion, and less of that old reticence to step forward and risk making a fool of myself. The worst thing that can happen is that youngsters will write me off as an eccentric old lady. No matter. They'll understand someday.

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