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Getting Older

Getting older… I received a request a couple months ago to write about this particular topic, and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to put this into the exact right words. I feel like my particular perspective might be a little different from most people my age. I moved out when I was 14. I wasn’t kicked out, or anything crazy like that, but I moved out to train full time in a different state surrounded by athletes typically older than I was. On top of that, I was never really a testy child. Adults always said I was very mature for my age, and I think part of that was natural, but also influenced by the fact I was usually too tired or busy to test my limits then. I was either at school, gymnastics, or being hauled from one brother’s hockey game to the next. I was never rebellious as a teenager. I typically just kept to myself, which in some ways can come off as mature, I suppose.

Deep down I know I’ve always been mature for my age, but a piece of me also thinks that saying kids are “mature for their age” can also just be a way of saying they’re obedient, because that’s what I was. And now that I’m older, I'm starting to see how being obedient isn’t always the best trait to have hard wired in your brain. That’s what people want from you. Whether it’s school, sports, work, etc. They want us to be obedient. I’ve put myself in far too many situations where I felt like I was being taken advantage of by those of higher authority because they know that I’m reliable. The problem with this is, just because I’m reliable, doesn’t mean you have the green light to take advantage of that. And more times than not, they do.

I think a big lesson I’ve had to learn for myself, that I’m continuing to work on, is actually undoing some of the things I thought made me mature. Being compliant, for example, is something that my coaches, bosses, teachers love about me. I was typically favored because of this. I didn’t want to be “problematic.” This trait I naturally picked up as a child has put so much stress on my adult life, though. I am your yes girl. Working more? I can do it. Babysitting? I’m there. Biting off more than I can chew? Story of my freaking life. And next thing I know, I'm not prioritizing myself and I reach a breaking point, because I’m constantly trying to please everyone around me, besides myself.

This is something I realized a couple years ago, and I’ve definitely gotten better about. I’m learning how to tell people no without feeling guilty about it. I am starting to understand my limits. I think learning more about my limits and understanding myself has played a huge part in getting older.

As far as how I feel about getting older, I really do enjoy getting older. I look back at old videos and pictures and I miss certain parts of being younger, but I honestly just feel like me, but elevated. I know so much more about myself now than before, and I’m secure with where I’m at. I am still 21, so I suppose this could change in the next 10 years, but I think about all of the things I’m going to achieve by that time and the places and people I’ve yet to meet, and it somewhat comforts me to think about getting older in that way. I think we attach a lot of negative feelings to getting older, because we think about running out of time, and our bodies not looking the way they used to, and obligations we have to tend to, and I just don’t see the point in that. It’s inevitable, so I don’t really want to take away from the positive aspects of it.

Hope you enjoyed my lil video of getting older up top ;)

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