Alex writes at Late Enough, about her family, parenting, marriage, politics, religion, zombies. She’s incredibly open and honest, like in this post about her marriage. And awesome, because she followed it up with this post (seriously, go see it. It’s adorable.). But you really need to start with her Best of Late Enough section. The titles alone are more than worth a click-over. Alex’s family looks like crazy fun to be around (and if not, playing on the amazing backyard fort they’re building would definitely make up for it).
I haven’t met Alex in real life, but from knowing her online, I know that she’s incredibly supportive and kind and cares about people. Trust me when I say that you need to get to know her, too.
Thank you, thank you, Alex, for stopping by my humble abode.
I expected getting old to be awful. I’m thirty-four so calling myself “old” might seem a little premature, but let’s go back fifteen years.
For my nineteenth birthday, I cried. I cried because it was my last year as a teenager. I would soon have to give up being the sullen, insolent teen that I had cultivated with so much emo joy before anyone knew to call Alex being moody and poetic anything but annoying.
I thought growing old would be day after day of saggy, wrinkly, and tired shuffling through life with bills to pay and work to wake up early for and no one to care about my deep thoughts on Sartre and Aristotle. As a teenage philosophy major, I hated mornings, being wrong, and not being able to drink all night. I didn’t want a white picket fence and the only use for a minivan was to pretend to be the A-Team in a slightly less sketchy manner.
I was also sure that I wasn’t good enough to die young like Billy Joel promised so I was doomed.
Little did I know that one day having an infant would allow me to say: “I didn’t sleep all night so SCREW YOU” and burst into tears just like I did at nineteen. However, these adult tantrums are few and far between because being old is awesome. I care so much less about what people think of me, which implies I was fairly paralyzed by fear as a child since I’m still pretty sensitive today. I am quirky and introverted and friends who knew me from college say I’m so different and that’s good.
I like that my face has a little more character. I earned my laugh lines with the amount of times my husband and I find each other hilarious.
I’ve also deserve my frown lines for standing up for what I believe. I have convictions today that are not always popular or comfortable, but they are thoughtful and thought-out. I don’t parrot what my parents or professors taught me. I read and pray and admit when I’m wrong and speak up and out with my voice, my feet and my pocketbook.
I earned my worry lines as my children are growing and facing new challenges. I’ve watched my son decide what he likes, what he’s told boys like, what friends believe, what he believes as he finishes up kindergarten and will be moving to first grade. I’ve stood by my daughter as she struggles between sassy and shy as she finds her place in preschool.
I’ve made a thousand choices I couldn’t make at 19 years old. I was too young and scared, and my only strength was hiding behind looking good and other people who seemed so much more together than me. Perhaps, I’m selling myself a little short. Even back then, in all my denial and fear, I had the willingness to grow up.
Everything didn’t change at my nineteenth or even my twentieth birthday, but at some point in my early twenties I began to I feel a little stronger every year in who I am and in how to get to who I want to be.
Also, I keep hearing forty is awesome, and I’m grown up enough that I can’t wait.