My 40th birthday is fast approaching and I can’t help but think about age. Age is a number that has so many assumptions wrapped up in its little digits. There are assumptions about how a body should function, what it should be doing, and how it should be dressed all based on age. These assumptions and expectations are not just on the body, they’re also imposed on how a person should act and what kinds of things they should enjoy.
There are times I feel my age. I feel it in the wisdom I have gained from my many rich life experiences. I feel it in the backaches after working all day cleaning houses. I see it in the grey hairs and little wrinkles that show themselves to me in the mirror. I hear it in the creaks and cracking sounds of my joints.
And with all of that, there are so many ways I don’t feel like I could possibly be 40 years old. I am regularly filled with childlike wonder at the beauty of the world around me. I still run out barefoot into summer storms. I still dance all night, sometimes on a dance floor, sometimes around a fire with the sounds of drums moving me in ways my big, ole body “shouldn’t” be able to move. I can’t help but smile when my partner tells me that he can’t keep up with me, even though he is over ten years younger. I smile because I know there is truth in those words.
With all of this, I
walk dance happily into my 40s, and do my part to keep rebelling against all the shoulds and should nots that age tries to hand me.