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Reflection - Aging and the Journey of Self Discovery

Updated on January 23, 2013
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It is healthy to stop occasionally and reflect on your life; where you have come from, where you've been, and, what you've learned along the way.

I am a baby boomer, a child of the 50's and I'm real proud of it. The timing of my birth was perfect for someone like me. By the time I was in my late teens, it was cool to be a rebel and stand up for what you believed. By the time I was in my 30's, I was too attached to material things to be a cool rebel. I played all the games necessary to appear to be comfortably middle class. I was mostly unaware of the games I was playing though. It just seemed like that's what we did to have a job and a house and to take vacations and...to buy things. I filled my house with those things I bought.

I had so much stuff that even my stuff had stuff. Shelves were lined with all the cute little things that dust settles on. For every craft I tried my hand at (and failed at mostly), I purchased enough materials to make a career out of crafting. I would finish a piece of two and the rest of the materials sat stagnant in neat little organized boxes in some area I called "craft material storage". My kitchen cabinets were stuffed with gadgets too. A gadget to zest a lemon or a gadget to Julienne a carrot and even a gadget to warm your buns. Seriously. I had a gadget that you put a little water in and it would steam a hot dog bun just like those fancy hot dog stands. Have I mentioned books? Gee whiz, I never had too many books. But you know, I never read any book more than once. Never did, never could. So what on earth was I thinking?

Well now I'm 50 something. And I don't want all this stuff. I don't want to dust it or move it or pack it up. I just want it gone. The older I get, the more space I need. It no longer makes any sense to me to have to turn sideways to walk through a room. Be gone, stuff!

The Journey of Self Discovery

There's a lot to be said for getting older. My face doesn't lie to me anymore because I'm not wearing 3 pounds of makeup. I don't squeeze into jeans that are too tight just to look 3 pounds thinner. I am built for comfort, not for speed. When I look in the mirror, it is me I see looking back, the real me. There are lines in my face and sometimes the dark circles under my eyes are a bit frightening, but hey, it's me. It's not the pretend me. It's really me.

I've come to terms with who I am now and I'm not afraid to be this woman who won't be a doormat anymore. I have learned to listen to my sixth sense, the one in my gut that tells me when things aren't as they appear to be. I still have a gigantic heart and hate hurting someone else's feelings but I won't compromise anymore. If it's not right for me, I have to say it. To do anything less is to deny who I am and finally, I have discovered my truth.

I don't say I will anymore, when I know I won't. You won't catch me telling you I'd like to when we both know I wouldn't. But, when I tell you I will, you can take it to the bank. My word means more to me than all that "stuff" ever did.

Underneath the wrinkles, the gray hairs (few though they are), and invisible scars, I have found me. And although it took me a while, I know who I am now and no amount of stuff or money or popularity is going to change me. I am me. I am far from perfect but I am oh so much better than I was. The journey has not always been easy but the lessons, oh the lessons I have learned along the way. Reflection is good for the soul.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

The Lessons I've Learned

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  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I love your story, Irc! I have two mantras. (BTW, I'm 55 and have travelled far to come to terms with ME!) The first is: if it feels good, do it. If it doesn't, don't. And when it stops, quit.

    The second is (men don't seem to ever hear this no matter how many times I pull on my tongue!): Listen to the words that come out of my mouth. I mean what I say and I say what I mean!

    I'm glad you found yourself and still have time to live life the way you choose. I'm there, too. Welcome to the 50s! Aren't they grand?

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Built for comfort!!! You had me laughing with that line my friend. Isn't it cool to finally reach the point where all the fluff and nonsense no longer matter? You did a great job of speaking my mind in this hub! Not that easy to do but you did it perfectly.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Bill and bravewarrior! lol Can you tell I had a moment of truth today? A further explaination may follow in another hub but I was running on high octane when I wrote today. Yes, it is a good place to be and I proudly share it with both of you.

  • Alastar Packer profile image

    Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

    You were a dyed-in-the-wool materialist but hey, that was the Me Generation wasn't it lol. Good to hear you listen to your sixth sense and have discovered your truth!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Yep Alastar Packer, I was and YES...I did. Thanks for reading and for the encouragement!

  • shruti sheshadri profile image

    shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

    Brilliant! I am not in this stage but I think i perfectly understand. You are a great writer. The thoughts from your heart just flow so freely. Really genuine!

    Voted up :) beautiful :)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    You are very kind shruti. Sometimes I think my thoughts need a leash. lol

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