In my 20s, I was pretty freaked out about turning 30. I was afraid of feeling old, but one of the coolest things about being 30 so far is that I have a new perspective on age. It’s not like on your 30th birthday a switch flips and you suddenly feel like a grownup … except that it kinda does? As a kid, when I saw someone who was clearly an adult yet not as old as my parents, I’d say, “Ugh, he’s like 30 or something.” It turns out though, that I was really off with my age estimates.
During my yoga teacher training, I became friends with a woman who I assumed was a little bit older than me, but not any older than 35 or 40. Turns out she was 50. I was surprised to realize most of the other women were between 50 and 60 while the oldest was into her 70s. Here were all these women over twice my age who were beautiful, radiant, funny, healthy, smart, and about to take on a whole new career. Many were considering teaching yoga part time after retirement. One was getting ready to circumnavigate the globe with her husband … on a boat they built themselves. These women had seen a lot, done a lot, and had nerve like you wouldn’t believe. Women over 50 were suddenly incredibly fucking cool to me.
This spring when I went to Betty Dodson’s workshop, well I might never stop writing about the things I learned that weekend. Let me just say she removed all of my fear of aging in one fell swoop. Sure, things don’t look like they used to at 84, but at that point, who’s judging you? If you can laugh and have an orgasm, what the hell else do you need? Suddenly, I’m kinda looking forward to getting old.
I don’t wanna hit fast forward on my life just yet, though. It turns out 30 is a lot more fun than I thought. Granted, I get excited about lame grownup things now, like recycling bins with wheels. Seriously. Get me one for Christmas. In other ways, I’m still essentially a child. I watch nothing on television but cartoons, for crying out loud, and if you wanna have a contest to see who knows the most detailed back story about “Adventure Time,” you are on, sir.
Every now and then, I look at the kids in my neighborhood, and I remember being their age, and a little part of me is sad that I’m not that young anymore. I tell myself if I were that age again, I wouldn’t take everything so seriously. I’d have more fun, worry less about other people’s opinions. But then I look at Betty and the women in my yoga class, and realize they would probably say the same thing about being my age. If anything, they might wish they took more risks, spoke up more often, had more fun, felt less guilt. So I try to do just that. So far, I’m only sorry I ever spent a minute worrying about getting old.