I always figured at 50 you were supposed to have everything figured out. Who are you, where you belong, what you want to do when you grow up -- all the stuff the billion dollar self-help business tries to rectify with the flip of a page or the click of a button.
And true enough, I have come to some realizations and moved past some things. Here is one inviolate truth -- It's okay that I don't have my mother's approval. If I asked her what to wear, I usually ended up wearing the opposite. If I asked her what to do, I'd do the opposite. The most telling example is when she suggested I major in journalism in college. Nope, couldn't do that. Had to figure out when I was 45 that I really was a writer even though I've documenting and noting and observing and scribbling since I learned how to read in the first grade.
And of course, she wanted me to find a good man to take care of me. She's from THAT generation. You know, the one that went to college to get an MRS degree and defined themselves by their husband's status and where they lived. Certainly, that standard helped in furthering my dad's career. But even my mother eventually went to work and thrived in an environment where she wasn't just someone's mother. And even though she officially retired in 2001, she continues to work in something she loves.
As for me, well, I've come to terms with who I am and what I need to do. As my brother said to me after my ahem second divorce, I've always gone my own way. And it feels darn good to slough off old stuff, like skin, and try something brave and new. I recently moved across the country to be live with my senior high school prom date. Peggy Sue all over again. My friends in Colorado are skeptical. It's all about releasing the fear and knowing...
Growing older does have its benefits...there's discounts, and wisdom, and wrinkles and more ways to be joyous and grateful.