Some compliments I never forget. Years ago, I met up with my friends from high school after I finished College and one of them said to me, “You are growing into a beautiful woman.” I did not feel like a woman then and I still struggle to think of myself as one instead of a girl. That compliment stayed with me.
Sometimes, I sit around with my 30 something friends and they start talking about aging and the fear of it. I have been thinking about it too lately. My vanity shudders but my core remains calm and secure. Today, I observed the twenty somethings on the beach. I heard one of them say:
“That old lady was so weird, she said to us, ‘Youth is lost on the young’. No, she said, ‘Youth is wasted on the young’. What was she talking about.” They laughed and continued talking.
The girls were convinced that the old lady by the pool made up that quote by George Bernard Shaw. I laughed to myself. Their lack of knowledge or idea of what the quote meant or who it referenced was the proof of its eternal truth. I did not appreciate my youth and even now I sometimes lose sight of that kind of gratitude. Maybe it is wasted on me as well. Being thirty something is a new state. I am young but I see the aging process begin, it is an in-between.
Forget the physical part of youth, the soft spotless skin with no wrinkles. What do the young have that older do not have. Freedom. It is always freedom that people want. In this case the young have the freedom to build a fresh life, while the old are stuck with what they have already built. It is wasted when they do not recognize the possession of this freedom.
Yes, I was eavesdropping again. What else can I do alone on the beach? I was reading, of course, but these 20 somethings love to flaunt their conversation, they were drowning out my book of fantasy and mysticism. I heard them talk about the Apocalypse they thought was going to come in 2012, the bitchy girl they don’t like who has a boob job and a fake nose, their insecurity of looking fat in pictures. Their conversation was painful. Like watching a reality show.
The old weird lady by the pool saw it too. I do not envy youth, I remembered while looking at them today that I have been building the life I want. I have the life I want. I remembered that I have the possession freedom to continue to build and to refine it. And I also reminded myself that I am growing into a beautiful woman. Sometimes it is good to give myself memorable compliments.