[OPINION] Let's talk about aging
In line for the cashier at the grocery a few days ago, the woman in front of me noticed that she had a full basket of goods, whereas I had just one item to pay for. Unprompted, she offered to let me cut in in front of her.
I felt like I had won the lottery. I took the woman up on her offer and thanked her profusely. It was only morning but my day was packed and I was already running late. The woman’s gesture of kindness put me back on track.
It brought to mind a similar situation from 20 years ago, only then I had the cart full of groceries and a man asked if he could cut in in front of me as he had just one item and was in a rush. I said yes but always looked back at that incident with annoyance, regarding it as a time when I had idiotically let someone get ahead of me.
Juxtaposed, the two seemingly inconsequential events jolted me into an appreciation of the beauty and power of becoming older, and wiser.
In my impetuous youth, it would have been beyond me to fathom how letting someone get ahead of me could be to my advantage. It's only now that I’m older, with a few more years of life experience under my belt, that I’m beginning to understand that actually, we really ARE all in this together. (READ: Celeste Legaspi: Aging isn't a dull lens, but a prism)
I imagined my life as a vehicle trapped in a Manila traffic jam at the height of Christmas season. My younger self saw only the view from my car, identified who should get out of my way, and derived stress from the limited visual. My older self could see the view from the traffic helicopter, understand how giving way benefited the entire jam (including me), and derive zen from a broader perspective.
What does that realization have to do with the new decade, you ask? It has made me more hopeful about the passage of time and growing old.
If a negative experience in youth can morph into a beautiful one in age, it is then perfectly plausible that, assuming a matching growth in my wisdom and consciousness over time, the world could look like paradise when I’m in my 90s! Although in that case, who needs death and heaven? In fact, Long Live Leticia. Either way, it could be very good. (READ: The myth of grumpy oldies)
Some people seem to have started life from an innately wiser position than myself. (I’m thinking now of a sibling who from birth possessed such a repository of kindness that he is to blame for my own meanness – I felt compelled to help him develop self-awareness of his great gift by testing his limits.)
Others though, seem to be unwise even in old age. (Here I should probably demonstrate that I, on the other hand, already do possess at least a tiny bit of wisdom by not naming names.)
But I am resolved to face where I am honestly, and make my journey to wisdom and age earnestly.
On that note, let the decade begin! – Rappler.com
Based in New York, Leticia Labre is a writing enthusiast using this space as a good excuse to embark on some adventures, gain wisdom, and make friends along the way. Follow her on Twitter: @beingleticia.