Wishing for youth

November 5, 2015

still-youngRemember these days of youth? I do, too. And I wish I were still young.

No, it’s not for the unlined skin, pert breasts and full lips. It’s not for the thick head of hair without a single grey. It’s not for the ability to eat anything without it appearing on the hips.

No, it’s none of those superficial things.

I wish I were still young for this:
wish-I-were-youngOh, I know, you’re going to tell me that life at this age is still full of surprises and unexpected pleasures, and yes, it is. There are still a few chapters yet to be played out.

But when we’re young, every BIT of life lies ahead in an uncharted path that will unfold…well, how WILL it unfold? We don’t know. And that’s what I loved about youth.

The frisson of excitement as I went after that first professional job after college, and then, all the subsequent ones I pursued as I developed my career. Would I get the job? Would something else lie ahead? What would happen if I took it?

And then, where should I live? How should I live?

Not to mention that first love affair and all those that came after.

I’ve always been someone who enjoyed having an empty road ahead of me and not knowing what comes next. Now, in retirement, life is more predictable. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I embrace the joys that come with every stage of life including this one.

But when I’m alone, pondering where the years have gone, and think about my days of youth, what comes up for me is not the desire for botox or lipo or a facelift.

What comes up for me is the anticipation of what lies ahead on an open road.

25 comments on “Wishing for youth
  1. Leigh Young says:

    Nicely done and my sentiments exactly. Thank you.

  2. I can’t lie, I feel nostalgic for those perky breasts and a body that doesn’t ache all the time. However, I am more confused and feel just as confused about the future as I did when I was a teen. Then I had to keep moving forward, but now I have to fight the desire to stay at a full stop and look backward.

  3. I’ve had too many surprises in midlife. Predictable at this point sounds good to me.

  4. You nailed it! Perhaps it is because I have another birthday approaching or perhaps because I’m introspective by nature, but I’ve been trying to sift through my feelings about aging and this period of my life. The lines and grey hair don’t bother me (too much), but it’s what you hit upon in this post that is gnawing at me. It’s the longing for the excitement of a blank slate with a wide-open long road.

    Great post, Carol! And, thank you for a glimmer into my deeper self.

  5. As someone who always wanted to know what was next – not a big fan of uncertainty – this is precisely what I DO like about being at midlife! However, I wouldn’t mind having my perky boobs back 🙂

  6. Kimberly says:

    Carol, I’m not sure how I feel about the changes you bring up. I do enjoy the wisdom I’ve gained with the mileage, but many of the mysteries of life are definitely gone. All in all, I’ll take my 50’s over my 20’s any day. So much more manageable!
    Kimberly XO

  7. For me it would be the perky breasts. *wink*

  8. Love this! I do like some routine but that lure of the open road is always appealing. I’ve traveled more in midlife than I have most of my life – and I have no intention of stopping!

  9. Hi Carol! It sounds to me like you need some fun and adventure in your life! I know I get that way every now and then and I almost have to kick myself in the butt and find something new and exciting to get involved with. Letting go of comfort and diving into the unknown always brings me back to that feeling. ~Kathy

  10. Estelle says:

    Well, having a kid in midlife keeps that frisson of wondering going. Thanks for making me think about that.

  11. pia says:

    I try explaining that to people in their 20’s and 30’s—and realize one day they will understand that they’re in the “everything is new and exciting” stage of life.

    That’s what I miss about being young—and yeah the great body but….

    I think many of us travel, or move to places far from home and even our dreams, in an attempt to find the new and exciting.

    I think many of us keep working because it can feel new. And yes writing a memoir brings me back to a time when everything was “awesome” no matter how tedious, ordinary or difficult.

    And we can have the extra money to change the second black granite kitchen counters into what you did. In my defense I was going to get colored poured concrete for something new and exciting but nobody would install it!

  12. Clare Speer says:

    This is too too cute! I am in the wonderful years of “mid life”…. I can relate to all of the above! 🙂 🙂

  13. I’m okay knowing what comes next. Much of the surprises of earlier years weren’t all that fabulous. I finally learned how to make happen (mostly) what I want to happen. And that’s worth the lines and non-perky boobs.

  14. Camile says:

    Oh to be young again. I have a milestone birthday coming up next year and I am honestly sad about it. I hope that by the time it comes around I will have come to grips with it. I long to be young again because I like the feeling of having my entire life in front of me. These days I keep wondering if my best years are behind me. When I was younger I remember eagerly anticipating the next birthday and the adventures that would come with it.

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