|Photo courtesy of shine.yahoo.com|
I don’t know about you but sometimes as a kid if I or one of my siblings were doing something we shouldn’t have been doing we were told “You’re too old for that.” I guess we were. I also gathered there was an expectation of maturity, wisdom, and modeling for our other siblings, younger cousins, or kids on the block.
And as I wait with great excitement for my own birthday this Wednesday, and give early start to the usual reflection I engage in around my birthday I am reminded there are some things I have outgrown, and am just too old for. There are some things where the expectation of maturity, wisdom, and modeling take precedence.
|Photo courtesy of squidoo.com as pinned on Pinterest|
Like explaining myself. I am too old to self guilt myself into explaining my decisions. I am too old to not self guilt myself into explaining my decisions. The very fact that a decision is mine in and of itself reinforces the notion that an explanation is owed to no one. Now, here in the U S of A we like explanations. We like them so much I think it may be a forgotten constitutional amendment. We want to know why you won’t attend the wedding, why you won’t let me bring my boyfriend of 348 days to the wedding, why you won’t fly home for Thanksgiving, why you called out sick, why you stopped perming your hair, why you’re dating outside your race, why you changed careers, left your spouse, put your kid up for adoption, etc. But the reality is no one needs that explanation. In fact mostly it’s wanted to see if we will validate your decision. And well, I am too old for that too.
Now honestly I am almost a fool for validation. It’s presence is powerful as is it’s absence. Do the research. Read the paper. Watch the news. Go see one of a dozen bio pics released in the last year here in the states. They will be full of the power of validation from that single parent, that praying granny, that tirelessly working educator. Or, they will be filled with the motivation to succeed driven by bullies who only validated the character’s existence by hitting and teasing, the abuser whose validation came via the abuse and reminders (lies really) that the character wouldn’t be wanted by anyone else. Yet, I have found that my greatest source of validation comes from what I believe about myself and what I believe as a Christian my God believes about me. Now yes, I like the validation that come from friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers, but I am too old to let it’s abundance or absence influence how I choose to see myself and who God says I am.
|Photo courtesy of Marie Claire August 2014|
You know what else I am too old for? Being afraid to disagree and communicate my disagreement. It could be a random notion that I picked out of some book, magazine, or saw on Twitter, but my goodness, at almost 30 years old I think I can not agree with some things, share it as such, and not look at you or anyone else any differently. Somewhere in my mind that’s part of adulthood. I don’t have to like everything you say or do and vice versa. Furthermore, just because I don’t doesn’t mean I don’t like you. You would be surprised how many 20,30,40, and 50 year olds that have hissy fits when you dare to disagree and suggest agreeing to disagree. You would be surprised how swiftly the silent treatment gets given, invitations get taken back, smiles seem hard to muster.
I think that happens when we personalize things. As a member of an individualistic society personalizing disagreement or a decision someone makes that we don’t like happens on the regular. We think that other people’s lives revolve around us. We won’t say that as we don’t want to be called narcissistic. But when we act indignant, demanding explanations, pouting and ignoring calls and texts after a disagreement, we are in fact saying that others purposely made choices to hurt us. They made that choice with us in mind. I don’t think people think about me enough to make decisions that intentionally add to my displeasure, and I certainly don’t think about other people enough to make my decisions ones that will intentionally hurt or harm. I don’t have time for that. I am just too old to choose to think any and every negative encounter or experience was personally designed for Ahyana J. King.
|Photo found on hellobeautiful.com, originals courtesy of Lucky August 20145|
Ultimately I am too old to choose to engage in anything that takes away from my ability to LIVE a purpose driven abundant life. Ultimately you are too old, whether 19, 23, 34, or 57, to choose to do things that don’t draw you closer to your calling and add life to your life. Now, you and I are never too old to start implementing the changes that allow us to let go of the things that don’t feed our souls and bring forth life. We are never to old to choose to change.