Turning 28 years old is usually met with an eye roll proceeding a bemoan of impending doom. And I can’t blame those who dread it. Those who grieve growing older see unflattering representations of life after 60 while being reminded that many might not make it that far. And who knows what really happens when we die.
But this is what we wanted right? We spent our whole childhood and teenage years waiting for the day we’d shed our puerility for our maturity to emanate from our dignified spirits. It was so easy to picture ourselves in that fast car, or as that rocket scientist carefully observing a beaker full of liquid or what not. Until so many of us hit 28 years old and start shitting bricks. It’s as if every transition to 28 comes strapped with an self-evaluation that indicates a failed life. Is that true?
The more important question is how am I handling this impending doom and what did my self-evaluation say. Well, I’m chilling. Besides, with or without my liking, I’m growing older. Facts. I much rather not spend my time preoccupied too much on vanity while missing out on adult life. This is what I wanted as a kid. (I also wanted to eat lot of candy… all the time, so my aspirations were not always the best.) As for the self-evaluation…I failed. Of course I failed. I mean if I’m judging myself from the callow mind of my past, I failed big time. And now that it’s over, what a pleasure it has been for me to learn from my failures. Hallelujah, now we can get on to the good stuff.
Growing older, for me, has only allowed me to become conscious with myself so I can move out of my own way and be the dancing, revolutionary, starving fashion designing, DJing, artist-lawyer that I wanted to be as a child. (See what I’m saying about my aspirations) I don’t know if I have completely shed my childishness as I still have a goofy way about me, and I still crack up at the “Deliveries In The Rear” sign, but my failures as imparted experience and my experience endowed wisdom.
So what have I learned? I’ll give you my top three aside from how to properly hang a sweater in a closet. (Yes, there is a proper way.)
Free - I’ve replaced the image of freedom shared by many people of color which looks like unshackled abraded wrists being able to show up at the voting stations unscathed and getting salary raises off of merit. That simply is not true. Freedom is being, openly, and the defense of it. Freedom is a struggle. Freedom is consciousness and deliberate decisions.
Wrong - Being right all the time not only means you’re the smartest one in the class, but also means something is wrong. Unwillingness to be wrong inhibits growth of oneself and growth in relationships. One does not allow the necessary empathy to feel one’s own humanness. One unwilling to be humbled enough to just be human, one cannot connect to other humans. My own hypocrisy helps me better understand other people, take myself less seriously and just enjoy life while I can.
Ego - Kanye and Beyonce make huge productions about their ego, makes us all sing along. The lost verse is that 100% of all breakdowns are ego driven, from communication to nervous. Ego is a regulatory system presiding over social-perception pertaining to oneself. Ego wants to control what is beyond our control. How maddening is that? Rather narcissistic. So I can live peacefully, I am trusting that my being is enough and letting go of whatever does not see that.
When I really boil down my childhood aspirations, the one thing that’s left under it all is my happiness. All these lessons were hard earned after headaches, stomachaches, heartaches and a break-down or three, but I am enlightened by them. I no longer see a reason to wait to be happy. Happiness is mine all the time. I am brought closer to myself. I am happy with this messy life of mine. (Not all the time, of course) And I can only be happy to see what else is coming my way and really fine tuning what works for me. The best thing about all of this is that I’m only 28. And because I’m on no one’s schedule, I’m never late.