For no reason at all, today I was thinking about what it’s like to grow older. I see the hallmarks of age every time I look in the mirror. I chose a couple of years ago to let my hair reveal its natural color. After tossing the bottle of chemicals, I re-covered the time spent on coloring my hair while un-covering my natural shade of silver and black. What a pleasant surprise to find that what was hiding under the artificial color far surpasses the glop I had been squishing onto my hair.
There have been other changes too, some less agreeable. I suppose the lines on my face add character, at least that’s what I’ve been told. The occasional wiry hair that pops up in the most unusual places is an annoyance. My skin is drier, thirsty actually, and slack in places that used to be firm. I wish I had appreciated my skin when it was the way I wish it could be today.
From the vantage point of my 57 years I can review the seemingly random events of my life and see how they add up to where I am today. I remember being on a job interview with what was then Standard Oil in Chicago. From the lofty heights of a skyscraper overlooking Lake Michigan, the interviewer reviewed my perfectly composed resume. In as flat a tone as I had ever heard, he commented that I certainly had done a lot of different things in my life. I was 26 years old at the time and I don’t think his remark was intended as a compliment. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job and continued on my way doing even more “different things” with my life for the next 30+ years.
I married and lived in San Francisco for 4 years. I divorced and moved to Israel for 6 years. I went from high end advertising sales in California to deep digging in Israel to unearth cities from more than 2,000 years ago. I moved to and from Chicago twice, honed my skills as a writer, editor and graphic designer, racked up another marriage, became an avid cyclist and took up running. Along the way I collected a bunch of medals that did no more than gather dust until I realized the glory existed in my heart, not on what was hanging from a peg in my closet.
My pedals brought me to Indianapolis for the long term and to the soul-filling relationship that will carry me through my last breath. A 12-year stint at a non-profit led me up the corporate ladder and was, as my Mom likes to call it, my MBA. Two-years of schooling at Northwestern’s business school, which I started years ago and never completed, would have been more efficient, but with hindsight I understand my corporate career led me to where I am today – the founder and owner of three yoga studios. Many years ago my Dad planted my entrepreneurial seeds. It just took me more than 30 years to harvest them.
I look back on my years and see so many fantastic experiences that far exceeded my dreams. I look back on my years and see mistakes I made and people I left behind. I look back on my years and know they are the foundation for more fantastic experiences in the future.
I don’t know what’s coming, but I feel it rumbling beneath the surface. I know this feeling. I’ve been here before. I know that growth and expansion are accompanied by a sickening feeling that exists beyond the range of my comfort zone. I’ve been here before. The gray in my hair, the lines on my face, the texture of my skin all remind me that yes, I’ve been here before and I’ve busted through it with a drive fueled by vision and excitement. Never mind what the white-collar exec at Standard Oil thought of my resume. I’m not done doing “different things.” I’m just getting better at doing them.