It hit me the other day that I graduated from high school 12 years ago.
12 years ago I was 17 years old? How is it possible that I still feel 17 sometimes, then? Because 12 years before that I was 5 and I certainly felt a lot different, in that 12-year span, from one point to the other.
Today one of my nieces, whose birth I witnessed just yesterday – at lease it seems like that – turns 9. This year I’ll turn 30. More and more, I find myself thinking, “Where did the time go!?”
(Yes, I know, I’m turning into those people who used to pinch my cheeks, put their hand at the height of their knees, and say, “I remember when you were only this big!”)
I was looking at a recent photo of myself today and, as usual, I noticed all of the things I’d change… for starters: my crooked teeth, the crow’s feet around my eyes, the wrinkles in my forehead.
In my senior yearbook picture, my teeth were less crooked, my skin was smoother and there were definitely no crow’s feet or wrinkles. I could eat anything and not gain a pound. Things on the body were “perkier” (if ya know what I mean). The big 3-0 wasn’t looming. I had “my whole life” ahead of me.
And yet, if I had to make a decision between the two ages, there would be no hesitation: I’d take the 29-year-old me.
With age comes experience. With experience comes wisdom. With wisdom comes the chance to gain insight into choices you made, and perhaps come to different decisions in the choices you’ll make.
Last night, I was having dinner with a friend I’ve known for about two years, but hadn’t seen in person in about 7 months. He said he’s never seen me so happy, so relaxed. I told him I’m glad that’s what I’m projecting because I’ve never felt so happy, so relaxed.
And I know it comes from finally being so content in my personal life… having the experience behind me to know that the way Brian treats me is the way I want to be treated. And the wisdom, which comes with age, to appreciate it.
So, back to that decision. 17-year-old me didn’t know Brian. 29-year-old me does.
Those crow’s feet? They’re worth it.