Age is (a lot more than just) a Number
For as long as I can remember, I've used my age to my advantage. I was often the youngest in the room at business meetings and dance auditions. I was always considered good at things "for my age."
I joined my first professional modern dance company at 18, started my own company at 19, and by the time I was 23 I had a successful dance company of my own and was employed with three other performing companies in Phoenix.
My age worked for me physically, too. I rarely needed to warm-up before working out. I could rely on 3 hours of sleep, a granola bar, and chai latte to get me through my 8 hour dance days.
I always heard "Oh, just wait. You'll start feeling it soon." My friends who are older than me said that I was going to crash eventually and I'd have to change my habits. I'd have to start warming up my body. I'd lose my fast, young metabolism. I'd get wrinkles and bags under my eyes and I'd need make-up.
Well, it is happening. I'm turning 26 this week and for the first time ever, I am feeling OLD.
It takes more to get out of bed in the morning. I have injured myself twice in the last year just because my body wasn't ready for the physical movement I required of it. I am gaining weight and losing my precious fast metabolism.
It is so easy to look at these changes and get down about them. Aging is often seen as a negative thing, but I don't think it has to be. I have a friend who refuses to dye her hair anymore in fear of missing her grays coming in. I love that. I am trying to adopt that attitude. We celebrate age milestones as kids, but for some reason we avoid them as adults. I want to celebrate them. I want to celebrate my first gray hairs. I want to rejoice when I finally have to wear glasses. I want to enjoy connecting to my aging body. Now that I need to warm-up more before dancing and fuel my body with nutritious food and adequate sleep, I have the opportunity to truly connect to myself. Connect to my vessel.
Cheers to 26! I'm ready.