As I grow older, I no longer ask why those childhood friends "disappeared" from my life. Once upon a time I was convinced those friends would be always a part of my life. We spent so much time and had so much fun together, I could not imagine life without them. But now I now understand that sometimes people just grow apart. And it is OK. That does not erase their part in the story of my life.
As I grow older, I realise more and more that some things are nice but not necessary. It is nice to have 10 people to talk to at any given point; but it is not necessary. Sometimes all I need is one person to talk to.
As I grow older, I am comfortable with not always talking to someone who is grieving. Sometimes just being there or giving a hug is enough. In any case, nothing I say will lessen the pain the person is feeling. And people deal with pain differently. Some will cry their hearts out while others will keep quiet and look into space. Others will talk loudly and tell jokes. It does not mean they are not grieving; they are just not doing it the way I am used to. And it is OK. We are different.
As I grow older, I understand that no matter how much I love someone, I can never make them do what I want, unless they want to. People will make choices that I do not agree with or like. It is OK. It is their choices to make. They have to live with those choices. Just like I have to live with mine.
As I grow older, the more I see that some things never change. I still call my mom when I am stressed out. I still tell her how broke I am although she can't give me a cent. Because she is my mother. I feel better afterwards. I swear that's part of my mom's "job description." More importantly, a lot of what I teach my kids I inherited from her. Like "defend your sibling in public, even if you give them hell in private." Or "never look down upon a person regardless of who he or she is. He or she might be the only person to help you tomorrow."
As I grow older, I am even more grateful to my English teacher, Ms Catherine Meyer for teaching me to read widely and question what I am reading. I have since come to understand that a teacher can never teach you all you need to know; she simply lays the foundation for future learning. And a good foundation is important. Learning in the classroom called life has no timetable. Anytime is lesson time.
As I grow older, I am all too aware of the true meaning of family. Family is not just about biology. I have made friends who have become sisters and they are just as important in my life as my biological sisters. Everjoice Win is one such sister. She always has my back. She is an unapologetic feminist. I am learning from her every day. It is always good to have sisters that help you grow.
As I grow older, so does my relationship with God. I am not afraid to question Him if I don't understand something. I have my #ConversationsWithGod from time to time. I believe that makes me human. And I think He understands that.
As I grow older I am embracing age. Being 41 does not define me. 41 is just the number of the years I have been on this earth, but it does not define me. Neither do the dimples on my bums caused by cellulite! The real me is more complex than that. I am still on the journey to truly know and understand me.
As I grow older I can be proud that if there is one prayer I live by, it is the Serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.