Getting older is hard. I’m not talking hard on your body (although that can very well be the case). I’m talking hard on the heart.
Daily we go along not stopping very often to reflect on change, but when we do it can hit us like a ton of bricks upside our head.
Maybe you haven’t experienced this, yet. (There’s always “yet”, right?) Lucky.
About a month ago I joined a recreational softball team with a friend of mine. It’s her work team, and they needed another so I joined in. Everything was great leading up to the first game. I hit the batting cages, got my old mitt out, and life was GOOD. See, when I was in High School I tried out for the softball team my freshman year. The tryouts were scheduled to last three days and for the first day we were all together. Then, on the second day, they split us into a small group of 6 and the rest of the girls went somewhere else. One of the coaches came in and told the 6 of us that we had already made the team and we were to keep quiet and spend the rest of the next two days practicing. It felt awesome to be told that you were one of the few they saw something in, right away. I was a starter. I hit triples and doubles. I caught every ball that came into center field. I was fast on my feet and quick with the snap.
Fast forward to 2012. Over a decade after I graduated high school and I’m standing on the field of our second recreational game. The first game went well (translation: we won!) It’s now the second game and a couple minutes in my heart begins to sink.
This is not going well… (translation: we suck)
After numerous errors (one or two involving yours truly) I get my turn at bat. I drive the ball as hard as I can into left field and take off for first base. Halfway up the baseline I pull my quad, but keep trying to run. I get the base, and they have a runner to take my place. Hobbling off to the bench I can barely hold back my tears.
In the dugout I am alone, crying. Not because of how much my leg hurt (well maybe a little) but more so because I was coming face to face with the reality that I am no longer that girl I was. My heart was hurting, longing for all the things I had that I didn’t know I wanted- things that I never thought would leave me.
It’s really easy to get caught in the under current of “what was” and to let it keep pulling us down under the water.
What I’m realizing is that by drowning and trying to hold on to the “was” we usually miss the “is”. We miss the now. Who I am now, is still amazing; she’s just different. She knows WAY more that she ever thought she would. She loves harder, fights longer, and believes in herself more that she ever thought she would have to. Her hand may have been forced, but she’s playing her cards right.
Aging is ok. There’s nothing wrong with loving who you were (after all, she got you where you are) and there’s nothing wrong with hoping for who you will be (awesome mom or grandma, super great friend to someone in need, professional marathoner…..) but there is everything RIGHT with being who you are right now, by being the BEST VERSION of yourself always.
YOU “NOW” should be the most awesome YOU ever.
I am the most spectacular ME out there.