How to Turn Old(er) Gracefully

The meltdown came when I turned 31, not 30 as would have been expected. For whatever reason, 30 was a breeze of full moons kissing the ocean and champagne sunrises on a solitary beach, with the waves and crabs doing their dance. Thirty-one was a whole other story. It arrived in unexpected tears in unexpected places, panic attacks and the feeling that my life as I knew it had come to an end. There was no youth left, only the feeling that I had not done enough. At 31, you are no longer a child, solidly placed in that “adult” box. Whether you like it or feel like an adult is not up for debate.

On the eve of my 31st, attempting to calm the fears consuming me, I sat down to write myself a guide to getting old(er) that came with five truths or satyas if I am to borrow from Sanskrit.

  1. Seek Advice: Turn to the people whose wisdom has sustained you all these years. The ones whose energy you hold onto in your innermost of spirits. Find the words you need to embrace the growth you require.

  2. Freak the Actual Fuck Out: It’s okay, this too is allowed unto you. Your emotions are yours whatever they are.

  3. Embrace the Fear: Getting older is mostly about confronting the fears that simmer underneath, culminating into the one day of the year when reflection is unavoidable. It is meeting the fear that your are not enough, that you have never have been. That you and you alone have failed yourself in realizing your dreams. That distractions and destruction continue to keep you one sidestep from the promised land.

  4. Accept and Acknowledge: Acknowledge what you have achieved. Accept that you have accomplished — something, a few things, many things. That you are one of a kind and in spite of—yourself, the world and everything that has ever come in between you and it. Accept that you are a thing you wanted to be; beautiful wild, free, intelligent, nurturing.

  5. Be at home: Know that with age come a multitude of homes. You are a child of many homes who must find a way to live in all of them