What the fresh hell is this?
No, these are not my regular glasses. These are readers. Yes, you heard correctly. I’m 44 years old and recently bent down in front of the end cap in the pharmacy to browse for a pair of reading glasses.
I feel old. This is the first time I’m actually feeling this way and honestly it stopped me in my tracks.
I’m tired. Tired in a way that I haven’t felt before. I wasn’t this kind of tired when I was going through cancer treatment. (I’m really tired.)
I’m tired from the work day. Long days and times that I’m up past my bedtime weigh heavily on my body. I’m tired from remembering what days the kids need packed lunches. I’m tired from juggling the written to-do list and the one that’s in my head. I’m tired from the general mental load.
I squint. A lot. I may not smile across the room at you, but have no fear. It’s not because I’m not happy to see you. It’s because my vision doesn’t adjust as quickly as it used to. Especially in the morning.
I suddenly feel old. I wince with sadness at this thought. For a moment my eyes brim with tears.
But you know what? I may feel old, yes but I refuse to stop. The forward momentum doesn’t stop. Rest, yes, but no stopping. The writing doesn’t stop. The submitting doesn’t stop. The creating doesn’t stop. The saying ‘no’ doesn’t stop. The risk taking does not stop. The hope for tomorrow and joy in today never stops.
I may suddenly feel physically old, but I feel something else, too.
I will no longer be afraid to be seen. I am no longer afraid of having an opinion and a voice. I’m old enough to know that not everyone will like me and that’s okay. It’s not my responsibility to make sure people are happy.
If I’m old enough to need these damn reading glasses, I’d gather that I’m old enough to say what’s on my mind. I’m old enough to speak up and speak out. I’m old enough to take risks and not give a damn about how it may or may not make me look. I’m old enough to no longer take rejection personally.
The truth is, I was old enough to feel this way all along. It just took a pair of reading glasses for it to finally sink in.