Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On Aging

I think I'm having belated reactions to my birthday a couple months ago.

Have you ever had that birthday?  You know... the depressing one?

Well, I thought 25 was bad.  Then I turned 26.  I had JUST gotten accustomed to being 25; and then I realized.  26 is older than 25.  I tried to keep my depression on the down-low.  Whenever I mentioned the shock at the passing of time and my own aging, I usually got about the same kind of response.  Some variation of: "You're not OLD!"

So, I'm not really.  But, still, I took 26 hard and I spent a lot of time wondering where my early 20s went to.  And trying to remember what I did with them.  Were there any accomplishments to speak of?  Did I make any significant advancements in life?  None were apparent.  I felt like the same person I was at 18, when I graduated from high school, put my life in God's hands, and settled in to wait on direction.
That was a tough birthday.  And for about 6 months afterward.

Then I turned 27.

I sort of dreaded this birthday, especially after my experience with the last one.  (Which, by the way, does not seem that it possibly could have been a year ago?)  But, it seemed to go pretty well.  The day was uneventful for the most part.  I still don't FEEL 27, and I certainly don't LOOK it... (some people still guess my age at 18 :) but, it went well.

Or so I thought.

Then it happened.

I found a gray hair.

By now you are probably thinking that I am a horribly dramatic person who is very easily thrown off her rocker.

Nothing brings the passage of time closer to home for me than repetition.  There are certain events that are regular as clockwork in my life.  Yearly events.  For instance the homeschool play that my brother and sister were in last weekend.  I remember sitting in that same auditorium 12 months ago thinking: "The next play is a YEAR away.  That's such a long time.  A lot can happen in a year.  Maybe next year, I won't be sitting here alone."  And, 24 months ago?  Same thing.  36 months ago?  Yep.  This is hard to admit, so bear with me?

I'm content being single.  I really am.  I'm enjoying it.  But, I'm one of those people that is always alone in a crowd.  Nothing makes me feel more desolate than a full house.  Have you ever been in a theater and noticed how many people are paired up?  Very few people go to these things alone.  Of course, I don't go strictly alone; I go with my (huge) family.  So, maybe I have no right to let the loneliness creep up on me and sit on my shoulders.

But, (even though it's hard) I'm being honest here.  Loneliness hurts.  It hurts to go to the same events year after year and watch the couples.  It's hard to watch everyone younger than you married and toting babies.  It's hard to know that people that know me wonder if I'll EVER find a guy.

Mostly, it's hard to realize that another year has gone by (and they keep coming faster and faster) and I'm still single.  And I'm sitting in the same auditorium again, with a couple in front of me.  And one behind me; and one on the left, and one on the right, and know that (based on previous experience) next year it will probably be the same.

And that's why I struggle with birthdays.  Not because I feel old.  Not really because I found a gray hair.  (Because, seriously, it's ONE gray hair) It's because it's another reminder that time marches on.  And that I'm not where I thought I'd be. 

I'm not sharing this with you all because I'm trying to get you depressed.  I'm saying it because it's true in my life.  And I have a feeling there are other young women out there feeling the same way.  I know that I'm exactly where I should be.  I know my future is in God's hands.  I know He loves me.
But, that doesn't mean that sometimes I don't hurt.  It just means that when I DO hurt He comforts me. 
And, maybe if we're honest with each other, and share our hurts, we can comfort each other?


Shannon April 7, 2009 at 6:45 AM  

Thank you, Rebecca. I understand. I've had those thoughts and made those observations, and don't wish them on anybody. I've only had up to 24 birthdays to take as depressing... but still I've been there and am there and appreciate your candor in sharing.

Miss Deb April 7, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

I love this :)

I am so with ya on all of this :)

Monika April 10, 2009 at 7:19 PM  

You just found one??? I've had one since I was 18!

Maddie May 16, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

Hi! I'm Hannah(it might say I'm Maddie in the blogger name - she's my sister) - I just visited this "blog" for the first time, and I found it from Krista's LJ(I know the Skinners, kind of ;)).
I just wanted to say 'thank-you' for this post - God used it for me today, because I'm feeling sad about my birthday that's around the corner. Thanks! ☺

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