February 20 – defy aging

211/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It’s very strange to me that almost all of my friends and acquaintances are younger than me and not by just a coupe of years. I could probably count on one hand those that are older than me. If I dared analyze why this is the way it is – which I’m about to do – it’s probably because of my late personal development. I didn’t really come into who I was much later than most people. I often get asked what I think of 70s music? When did I start drinking? Partying? Dating? Which movies I watched back in the day? I didn’t experience any of it. Because of a combinations of things – bullying based on my appearance and my dad institutionalized for most of my late childhood and early to mid teens, I wasn’t asked/invited/introduced to such things and we wouldn’t have had the money to afford some of these extravagances. I was expected to be a good boy and be home after school, study to get into university and to get a part time job. I worked every summer. I finally experienced my own freedom around 17/18 years of age. This was my entrance into my teen years – almost ¾ of a decade later. I have been often told that I don’t look or act like 50 or 40 or whatever age I was at the time – initially, I’m revelling in the compliment but then I get a bit out of sorts as the people I’m with are late 20s, mid 30s, late 30s, early 40s and I start to consciously think about why they are hanging with me and why I am hanging with them. I know that I offer something to them as they do to me to validate and continue our friendships but I’m the first to go to the age defense mechanism to protect myself but not once has that ever been a hindrance on their part and I guess what this reveals to me is that perhaps I’m the one who has a bit of an ageist bent; whereas, all these “young” people don’t judge me on a number but on who I am and what I bring to our friendships. To all of you who have been, are and will be in my life through friendships, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for accepting me for me even when I am constantly challenged by my own age. You keep this 50 year old young in mind, body and spirit – cheers to each and every one of you!

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