I’ve written a few articles about age not being our physicality, but rather our energy.
I was 52 and fabulous, 53 and fearless, and now I’m 54, and while I’m still fabulous and fearless, I have to admit I’m feeling a little fragile.
I’ve come to a startling realisation: I’m a paradox. I am strong, courageous, and fearless, but I’m also vulnerable and fragile. I’ve walked through the dark and ominous battering of storms, barefoot on rocky terrain, feeling every sharp shard cutting through me wondering if there would be any break. Would there be any relenting of this onslaught of f*cking pain? Would there be a hint of clear skies? Would I even survive?
I’d have moments of pure fearlessness, a strength and tenacity that would engulf me. A knowing that I would and could survive anything. I’d also have moments of fragility, like a piece of beautiful fine china that could crack so easily, with the gentlest of knocks.
Today, I am fragile. I know I won’t break because I’ve been here before and I’ve put myself back together, and each time this happens my scars become more visible, but they also become more stunning—more knowing. Each time I learn more, I gain a deeper love and understanding for myself. A deeper awareness. There’s a really beautiful wisdom that is born out of the pain of our lessons, the heartbreak of loss, and the experience our years give us.
I have gone within, not in a reclusive way, but rather a reflective way. I’ve been dealing with loss and grief. I’ve been trying to navigate what my new life will be like with this loss. The older we get the more loss we encounter, and with that comes her partner: grief. It’s facing our own mortality. It’s understanding the precious gift life is.
The older we get, the more we are faced with a choice: do we allow our age—the number of years on this earth—to define us, or do we focus on our energy and who we are at our core, in our soul?
I have always believed we are our energy. Our essence. What’s inside of us will be what is reflected on the outside. I consider myself fun loving, a little adventurous, kind, and confident, with a big heart. But lately I’ve been tired, almost exhausted. I feel my effervescent energy has lost its sparkle. My fearlessness is taking a nap as I count the number of comfort zones I have leapt out of in the past few years, and I think, maybe, I just need the stability of the space I am in right now before the next leap of faith.
I reflect upon my past losses as I face the reality of my recent, most profound loss, and I wonder how this will change me. I struggle with my motivation; it frustrates me and then I remember to be kind to myself, because it has been a difficult few months. And I know I cannot “positive think” my grief away.
I look in the mirror and I see the sadness and despair in my eyes, yet I also see the joy and love I have for my life, and in my life. Again a paradox—a person filled with so much sadness and so much joy all at once. An enigma perhaps, a complex woman with so many facets, making her who she is.
I have sat down at my computer many times over the past few months, and my usual ability for words to flow from my head to the page have been stifled. My love of writing is still there but it’s a struggle to articulate what I’m truly trying to say. Even the passion I have to read books and articles from my favourite writers on Elephant Journal have somewhat dimmed. It’s like the sadness from my loss and the ensuing grief has silenced my creativity. Left me floundering a little. Trying to find my way from the depths of the ocean to the surface so I can finally take a breath.
But slowly, like a baby taking their first steps, I’m moving. I’m a little wobbly and I’ve fallen a few times, but I get back up and try again. It’s challenging when you can see what you want and you’ve done most of the work to get there, only to find yourself wobbling and falling over. But with that unsteadiness comes more lessons and a determination to get there.
I am 54 years old and the reality of life has stopped me in my tracks. I’ve had to redirect my energy and really stop and listen to what I need—what my body, mind, and soul needs. I’ve had to remind myself in the midst of grief that I am still fearless. That I am still fabulous. And that it’s okay to be a little fragile.
In fact, my fragility and vulnerability are really quite beautiful in their messy rawness.