Well looky there. I’m fifty.
Birthdays with zeroes in them make you do a double take, don’t they? Obviously every year deserves gratitude and celebration but it’s difficult to ignore these kinds of milestones, even as artificial as they are.
As for real milestones and markers of time, I found my first gray hair seven years ago. I thought “Oh ok, here we go. I’m finally earning my wisdom stripes.” But nothing really happened. A stray one would show up here and there but it never manifested in the silver invasion I anticipated would overcome my blonde locks in the immediate months to come.
That changed this year. My wisdom stripes have finally gotten serious about their infiltration. And that’s ok. I’m not interested in clinging to youth. I’m more interested in living every year purposefully, regardless of my hair color and wrinkle density. Or rather, living out loud and wearing my experience proudly.
The last couple of years have been tumultuous, to say the least. So much was out of my control in our going-nomad-then-everything-went-wrong-three-ring-circus. But with last year’s birthday post I promised myself I would fix the things I did have control over. I’m relieved that I’ve been largely successful in that effort. That process first required letting go of the path I was stuck on and getting nowhere. That’s where we clear the mental space to answer the “Now what?” question, isn’t it?
The “now what” led me to New Mexico and settling down in a town I’d never been to before. It was a huge gamble that paid off, unlike the the nomad experiment. It was most definitely a top tier not-in-the-brochure scenario.
And I’m not going to sugar coat the process. It was hard. Hard decisions, complicated moving logistics, and unrelenting physically exhausting tasks wrapped in chaos amplified by a pandemic. Even when we already felt completely worn out we had to dig deeper to get the job done. Or—if you speak motorcycle—we were coming in hot to a hairpin turn and had to give it a shitload more throttle to make it.
There are still plenty of gnarly turns ahead, though. We have a complex, labor-intensive, long play ahead with a house renovation on the docket. But I have an amazing partner in all of this, I have my motorcycle back in my life, I love my new town, and I have the privilege of starting a new decade. Or as Emily of Own Less Do More told me—”You get to be 50.”
Yep. I get to be 50. And I plan to lean into it and hit the throttle. I’ll see you in the twisties of life, my friends!