“Hello, Miss...” the teen aged boy's greeting broke the silence of my morning walk. He turned his head to glance in my direction, as he passed me on his bicycle.
Miss? I wonder why he didn't use Ma'am? I thought silently to myself.
I have been accustomed to 'Ma'am' for many years now. Although I do prefer 'Miss' to 'Ma'am', I didn't think I could pass for someone young enough to be granted the title of 'Miss'.
I can still recall the first time I heard someone address me as 'Ma'am'. I was hardly a 'Ma'am' in my early twenties. I was shocked! When did I become a Ma'am? Do I look like a Ma'am? I started to ask myself this every time I fixed my hair or got dressed. How old does this dress make me look? Should I be wearing my hair this way?
Birthdays are have become increasingly uncomfortable for me, because the number just grows higher. I wish I could put them on pause for a while. Every year, they seem to arrive faster and faster.
And here comes another one - I will be 41 years old in two weeks. Now, I am sure that I am a 'Ma'am'. The median age for women in the U.S. is 38.1 years old, and I am certainly on the back side of that age. Younger than some, older than most.
Strangely, I don't feel as a 41 year-old should. Some of my teen-aged memories seem like recent past. On most days, I still think that I am in my twenties. Although, I'd like to think that I have grown wiser and more mature than I was while in my twenties.
I must admit that there is a part of me that mourns the fact that I am no longer considered “young.” Sometimes I wish I could turn the clock back to 18, and have a second chance at all the things that I missed in my youth.
I wonder - What will happen when I get to 50? Will I feel my age then? Or will I still feel like a young girl? 50 is really not that far away.
While the TV was on this morning, something caught my attention. Robin Roberts from Good Morning America was talking about this very thing – turning 50. Seeing that other people are actually happy and feeling fulfilled at 50 was very inspiring to me.
I guess that what it all boils down to is that age is just a number. We should not worry about our age, or growing older. We shouldn't mourn our lost youth, but instead embrace and celebrate the adventures to come, and realize that age milestones are just opportunities to reinvent ourselves.
Maybe turning 41 isn't such a bad thing after all.
Maybe I really am still a 'Miss'!