Usually this is something that women tend not to speak about: Birthdays. They hint at age, and ageing is often seen as a weakness in our society. I feel and always have felt different. To me the ageing process is something wonderful – and obviously inevitable.
In one way I have always felt ageless or not the age I was. When I was a little girl I used to have dreams of being an old women, with white hair, sitting on the porch of a house somewhere in the Austrian countryside. I felt in harmony with nature and life, quietly rejoicing watching people and life happening in front of my eyes. I felt fulfilled with a sense of peace, expansiveness, aliveness and silence. I couldn’t quite understand the people around me, all the rules and regulations. It seemed strange to stop life from flowing because of do’s and dont’s but I was offered many good reasons and explanations and I learned to comply.
As a teenager I used to feel and look much older than I was at the time. In hindsight I would say that I had no idea of anything but also I had no idea of that I had no idea. The only thing I did know was that I didn’t want “the same”. I wanted my life to be different according to what felt my truth. Other than a felt sense of this truth there was no clear picture to aspire to. Looking at my son who is turning 16 shortly I feel in utter awe of how clear he is. I was the extreme opposite. A revolutionary, difficult teenager not short of wild outbursts. I so feel for my parents and I am tremendously grateful for them not only enduring my passionate temperament but encouraging and supporting me in finding my unconventional way.
It feels not long ago that my mum turned 40. I have a sweet memory of her having a big party with friends and family. Then a ten year old, I was watching her blow the candles on the rather large cake (they did put up 40 candles!), wondering how I would feel once I am “that old”. I was curious how it would feel to be an adult, a grown woman (with boobs). I remember my mum looked very beautiful, happy and young although her grey hair paid witness to the physical ageing process.
Now, almost 30 years later, the rapid increase of grey hair on my head and the wrinkling skin reveals undoubtedly: I’m turning 40!
So, how do I feel? Well, in many ways I still feel like the 10 year old. I find myself wondering how I will be when I turn 60 or 80. I continue to marvel at the mystery of life. I wonder if my hair will turn completely white (I hope it does). I can’t (and don’t want to) escape the ever more wrinkly skin. I feel vulnerable on the physical level. On the inside I feel wonderfully matured. I like to think of myself as wine that get’s more exquisite with age. A relief for the evolutionary zest for action has faded. My heart is full of gratitude for everything that has been so far. I feel a deep appreciation for the irresistible pulsing aliveness that is here in each moment. I delight with great curiosity for what will happen next. I welcome the unknown with open arms. The endlessly fascinating mystery.