:: Friday, July 29, 2005 ::
I have my 49th birthday in a couple of days.
As happened as I was approaching 30 and 40 ... it's not those birthdays that felt like milestones to me. 30 wasn't so special, but 28 was ... at 28 I first had the thought that I was getting older, that I felt that the years were advancing.
And now, while 50 feels like a milestone, it feels like one *now* ... I even half wish I was turning 50 this year, because I feel like marking that age now.
I say I don't feel 49. In fact, in me, in my mind, there is a me: she has characteristics, and at moments, THAT me is the one that feels real, more real than the one that looks back at me in the mirror.
She's somewhere in her mid-30s. She's about 60 pounds lighter than I am in "this" one (the one I see in the mirror). She's got the knowledge I have now though. Except for one thing... she can communicate freely in Spanish.
Despite what I see in the mirror, some of that person does show. At least the age part. People regularly put me around 30. I've got a photo from last August where I swear I look 16. Another from last August where I could be in my 20s. I even get carded occasionally.
I used to joke that it was because I never got married, never had kids, and never had a mortgage.
But, in serious moments, I've been sure it was because I was still learning .. inquisitive, curious, slurping up with gusto whatever new things caught my fancy.
That may be what keeps someone "young", but ... aging has to happen eventually, right?
I've started to get ideas about what that aging means. Not the slowing of the body, the weakening of physical senses. Those haven't really happened to me (presbyopia notwithstanding) -- not even menopause, although perimenopause has been my companion for years now.
But I've just begun to notice other things. Not even changes in thinking ... what has changed seems to be dreaming.
Not night dreaming ... but rather the nature of the world I create in my mind.
There are things that I can no longer conjure up in my dreams.
Is that what aging is? When you can't create new worlds for yourself?
In another part of my life, the past few months have been kind of a training ground. The last month or two has been a training ground for yet another little segment of my life.
I feel like the next 12 months are a continuation of that. I have 12 months to decide what I REALLY want to do to mark the 50th anniversary of my birth.
Today, I really don't know what that would be. If I had to say, today: what do I REALLY want to do ... what would be enjoyable, fulfilling ... I couldn't answer, because I don't KNOW.
And each thing I tentatively consider trying on, to see if it will fit, I find myself saying "no... I could never wear THAT! I better look for something else"
12 months to see if I can start dreaming again.