why do we stop celebrating birthdays when we get to a certain age?

why can’t we embrace our growing older

& be happy to look and be that age?

sure, we still love to wear the latest trends,

to try new looks, and styles,

but should we do it to for the sheer desire

to feel or look younger?

is that even ‘why’ we do it?

like you, i too have been younger.

looking back, i see now how overrated it was.

so why would i want to spend the best part of my life recreating that?

i mean, i hated my body then,

especially my fat thighs and small breasts.

but truthfully it was pretty perfect.

i see pictures of mi back then and think,

“dang, i was pretty hot.” yet i had no idea.

i had no scars, stretchmarks, saggy skin, age spots, sunspots or cellulite.

yet all i saw, all i showed the world, was an insecure, mediocre, awkward, and shy mess of a person.

i remember not wanting to turn 20

let alone 40.

i didn’t want to get older.

i tried anything and everything to look different, better, cuter, thinner,

whatever i felt would make mi more

loveable, likeable, acceptable.

but then something happened. i turned 50.

i was newly divorced from a near 28-year relationship and i was starting over carrying with mi nothing but faith and unrecognized talent.

with little confidence and even less education, i began my journey of searching, discovering, reinventing.

that’s when i met her.

i quickly realized that although i was alone

i wasn’t lonely.

i liked the company i was keeping.

i discovered a new fresh side of myself, a person i had inadverantly hidden away. perhaps i thought she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough or important enough to be noticed.

it was then that i took the quirky, creative, free spirit i once knew and introduced her to my scarred, beaten, tattered and worn-down self ultimately creating an amazing woman.

a woman that ten years later, despite all obstacles has continued forward with spunk, tenacity and grace.

a woman who once protected her damaged and ripped apart heart with a thin layer that surrounded its soft tender insides, now exposes it freely allowing it to overflow often and beat to a different drum.

a woman who once may have lacked conventional education has gained the knowledge needed to run her own business and accomplish much, thus living a rich, full and colorful life.

a woman who appreciates the advice and opinions of others, yet no longer depends on them to define her worth.

it is throughout this revelation that, i proudly state with fewer days ahead of mi than behind mi, that i will no longer continue to spend the best part of my life, the most peaceful part of my time on this earth chasing the youth i didn’t even accept when i had it.

i hope you will join mi in the quest as i proclaim to never regret getting older or

stop celebrating my birthday.

for i know of too many that never got the privilege.

(C) c. michelle bryant griffin

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