Of all the wonderful things that came out of going to the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics 21st (quadrennial) World Congress, #1 is my personal sense of being whole, of all the disparate parts – parts I’ve worked resolutely for 40+ years to identify – coming together into ONE.
It’s 09/08/17 & I am at the place that was a dream hope intention when I was 24. And that young me is holding the feet of this current self to the fire to be… What?
The first thing that has to GO is any belief that my best efforts are all fluff, no substance. What an awful message! And it was drummed into me. Why, I will never know. No sense even trying to fathom, since my best bet is that no one knew the why. It IS time, however, to get OVER it. Both the message & feeling unhinged by the perceived messengers.
That second part is really really really hard to get past. We humans perversely hold ourselves back by clinging to things that continually do us dirt. We seem to enjoy putting hurt on a ceaseless loop, constantly replaying “unforgiveable” things done to us by others.
What if people are doing the best they can? Last winter, a dear friend of mine – all of eight years old – was bad mouthing a teacher she felt treated another student unfairly. She was well into her story when she stopped, paused, then said, “But I don’t know her back story.” Way to go, Cecily! Out of the mouths of babes, a great reminder that we don’t know the REAL back story, even our own. All we can assume is that we’re all doing our best, given our situation & circumstances. Even that jerk who was weaving in & out of traffic on I-95, doing 70+ mph. Or John wearing a casual olive T yesterday instead of his dressier black one.
Holding in our heart as well as our head that people are doing their best – what a liberating belief!
The past seven weeks – the past 24 hours – share a sense of the surreal. So many description-defying things happening, one after the other. Things hoped for, dreamed of, worked toward. HAPPENING.
Have struggled to find the right words to describe. Life-shifting doesn’t cut it. Clarifying? No. Illuminating? Way too wimpy. The best I can come up with is “terrifying homecoming” because Stephen King can’t begin to come up with something scarier than getting to where I’ve been directing myself since 1976, claiming it as my own, feeling my past present future selves come together – leaving me without any excuse for doing anything less than my best.
For way over fifty years, part of me clung to the crock of nonsense, utter balderdash of being all fluff, no substance. Am over it.
Thrilling & chilling to realize the Universe has thrown down the guantlet – “Okay, you have your wish. You are whole, as you’ve always wanted. NOW, what comes next? What does your unified integrated homogenized self make happen? Any excuse for playing small is gone. Thoughts & words are all well & good; show us your deeds.”
My here & now reality is that my past present future selves have coalesced. And it IS Stephen King-scary because there aren’t any outs for my not being a person of substance. I am about as far from fluff as possible, a 65-year old rooted in an intriguing family, nurtured by an unusual community, nourished by a remarkable faith, married to a wonderful guy.
I have no excuses for not being the best version of myself possible.
Many times last night found me explaining that where part of Aging2.0’s mission is connecting entrepreneurs to capital, part of ours is connecting innovators to their butt kicking self belief. Today, I keep hearing my past & future selves shouting out, “Start with yourself – Bring it on!“