It’s Time to Break Out of the Age Cage
Today, I am 65.
You have no idea how long I’ve debated about whether or not to speak those words out loud. Well, maybe you do. Maybe you also have mixed feelings about naming and claiming your age.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m supremely grateful to be 65. There are many who are not given that privilege. But as much as I want to feel ageless and cageless entering this next stage of my life, there are so many mental constructs that get in the way.
We still live in a culture where aging men are considered “distinguished” and aging women feel diminished. By sharing my truth, I’m hoping to help change that story.
Mirror aside, I feel the youngest and most energized I’ve ever felt.
Like the dragonfly who spends most of her life, crawling in the muck at the bottom of the pond, I am rising up and spreading my wings later in life. Next month, I am becoming a first-time published author at 65, launching my transformative book, From Muck To Magic. But instead of celebrating, there’s a civil war raging inside of me. The joy of new adventures and possibilities is being obliterated by a demeaning chorus of “You’re-Too- Old,” “It’s-Too-Late” and “What-Took-You-So-Long.”
The other day, those voices in my head got so loud, I felt paralyzed with fear. Thankfully, I found some peace while meditating. And connected to the wiser, kinder Voice of My Heart. I believe her message is for all of us: A call to rise.
In the beginning, it was the older women who were the leaders of society. The Wise Women, Medicine Women and Crones were the cornerstone of power and vision. Gathering in circles, they shared their wisdom, their truth and their gifts.
The patriarchs who rose up in their shadows, feared the power of older women. And created a myth—that if we are not young, nubile and of childbearing age, we are worth nothing. So many of us have internalized that lie. We feel invisible, unseen and undervalued as we age.
As with all things, the change must be internal. We can’t expect the external world to see our value, our worth and our beauty unless we recognize it within ourselves.
Now is the time to give ourselves permission to bring our true colors out into the world. Our true wisdom, Our true gifts. Our authentic and powerful truth.
Let’s become the heroines of our own story. We were born for this time. Let the magic begin.
Illustration by Wendi Knox
Today, I proudly celebrate my 65th birthday.
It is my deepest hope that the words I share here will help you see The Beauty and The Light Of All That You Are. At any and every age. If you feel called, I invite you to add your voice here.
When one of us speaks our truth, it sets us all free.
This essay was featured in the March 24th edition of The Sunday Paper, Maria Shriver’s free weekly newsletter for people with passion and purpose. To get inspiring and informative content like this piece delivered straight to your inbox each Sunday morning, click here to subscribe.