Holy Shit!* This aging thing is quite a trip.
I met up with some of my girlfriends the other day- we strolled down memory lane and realized with a shock that we've been friends for around 20 years. How on earth did that happen?
Then, when one of my friends was talking about a woman we all know, relaying her current situation and referring back to her backstory from 20 years ago, it hit me like a bat to the head: if our lives were books, (chick lit, obviously) we'd be at the resolution of a story arc. We know now, at around 40 years old, how the stories that began in our twenties, turned out.
We have perspective, wisdom, experience- we see consequences behind every action. We have sympathy and empathy that only comes from being in and out of troubling situations ourselved over the years.
We didn't have this back then, back when we started our stories together. It was all a laboratory, a writers' workshop, where we all laid down elements to an epic story- an autobiography.
A young woman, a dear friend of mine just starting in youth ministry gives me a hard time sometimes. She says "I can just hear you saying 'oh, you're so young, you'll see'" And she's right, things do look different from here, because while I'm watching her story unfold, I'm watching mine in reruns.
I'm grateful for whatever wisdom I've gained over the years, grateful for the teaching moments, the mistakes, the near misses, the lucky breaks. I'm grateful for old friends who can remember the beginnings with me. It's better to be 41 than to be 21.
* sorry about the cussing.