Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Being Older and Wiser

Wisdom, mural by Robert Lewis Reid. Second Flo...Image via Wikipedia
I think I have always been a bit of an odd duck.

During a religious retreat in high school, when asked what I hoped to gain from my experience of life, I said, "I seek wisdom."

I have no idea how this aspiration got stuck in my head at 17, or why I chose it over love, happiness, family, friends, luck, fame, fortune or good health. I stand here years later seriously wondering why didn't I ask for a boyfriend or a full scholarship to college, a cool car, or an inheritance from a long lost relative.

Laughably, in hindsight, if I was going to make a lofty request, I should have asked for good health.

Today, on my birthday, I've stopped to reconsider this peculiar request made in my youth and assess my progress towards reaching this goal.  According to Wikipedia:
A wise person has self-knowledge.
A wise person seems sincere and direct with others.
Others ask wise people for advice.
A wise person's actions are consistent with his/her ethical beliefs.
So here is where I stand:
  • Living for the past 23 years with a variety of health problems has certainly developed my self-knowledge.
  • I think I have always erred on the side of being sincere and direct, and being a sick chick certainly has encouraged me to further embrace this approach to relationships. 
  • It's interesting that as a blogger, I know readers do come here for my advice.  I truly hope I serve you well in this regard.
  • Finally, I believe my "walk" follows my "talk" and find that writing about my perspectives keeps me honest in this regard.
If I am going to be totally honest. I have to admit that being a sick chick has certainly taught me a lot about myself and the world in general.  Granted, these are lessons I would not wish upon anyone else. And yet I cannot image who I would be if I had not been ill.  I certainly appreciate knowing how strong and resilient I can be in the face of adversity and truly believe there is nothing I cannot face and cope with in this life.

Because of my experiences, I do feel wise beyond my years. I also appreciate the calm and confidence that comes with getting older.  While I am not so keen about the number associated with my age going up, the trade-off is that in many ways I do feel more content now than I did 20 years ago.

Yes, I am that old and I can hardly believe it.  Happy birthday to me!

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Pamlati said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, darling! :)
Have a Wonderful and PAIN FREE birthday!
XOXO!! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Selena, Happy Birthday to You, and Happy Birthday to Me too! My birthday was Sunday, and YES I feel wiser also. But I hate getting so old. But as they say what's the alternative?

Lynn said...

Happy Birthday, Selena!! May you have many more and may they be (relatively) healthy!! :-)

Migrainista said...

Happy Birthday indeed! May you continue to grow wiser and wiser :)