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what 48 looks like

March 1st, 2012 | 1 Comment »

It’s my birthday. I’m 48. It sounds odd to say; 48 years and plenty of life gone past.

But, it isn’t so bad. At heart, I don’t feel 48. My friends tell me they can’t believe I’m 48 (do they not see the wrinkles??)  and I can’t understand how I got to be this age. It’s just a number, really; a chronology of passing years that says nothing of how that time has slipped by. But this day to day thing, each passing month and year that goes by gives me a deeper level of acceptance with my life. And that’s where I feel 48, more than anything.

And being 48, there’s a lot of other things far easier to accept too; such as Me, with a capital ‘M’. Confidence comes with age, that settling in to who you are and where you’ve landed in life; the comfort level of accepting your quirky oddities, the off-beat traits and nuances of your personality is much easier, as is being completely at ease with running your life in a way that is important to you, and not to anyone else.  I fight against always wanting something more for my life, but the farther I get in it, the easier it becomes to see the glory of what’s around me, and how much quicker I find acceptance with where I am. This life I’ve got is pretty good. I’ve spent a lot of my 48 years striving for something better, and I’ve struggled with seasons of that life that have been disheartening, bleak, and very cold. Something internal within this heart of mine lies a yearning that may never be fully satisfied. I’m ok with always wanting something more, as long as I know in which direction to let it loose. That comes with age too, with being 48.

But 48 doesn’t come without loss, either. There’s been dozens of jobs with hundreds of duties that have given me incredible experiences, both good and bad, many, many places where I’ve lived (again, good and bad), milestones in years and passages that have come and gone, the loss of my mom and my sister, friends who have come in for a season and faded, relationships that tore at my heart. All of these life experiences have a way of leaving painful scars behind. I’ve struggled so hard through the darkness of these experiences, hopeful the despair will lift and I’ll feel upbeat and entire once more; and sometimes the losses, the pain and the sting of a bad experience still tug at my soul on occasion, whispering in that quiet tone of memory ‘Hey! Remember me?’ and I finger the scars carefully, recalling the agony and seeing how growth springs forth through healing, a metamorphosis that transformed me, bringing me closer to Me, to 48. Loss changes us forever; years pass before we realize that breaking the chains and running free, while embracing our new normal is what really makes us whole.

All that ever stays the same is change, isn’t it?

I used to hate my birthday, and would never tell anyone. I’d take the day off work, home alone and quiet about it. Somewhere though, I realized that I was missing out on something huge; a day to celebrate Me. Of all the millions of possibilities that could have occurred between my parents, there was only one Me that eventually did; one set of DNA that makes me unique, no one before me and no one after will ever be Me. Why wouldn’t that be worthy of celebrating??

“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” 
― Rumi