09 Jul turning 65: solo travel and witches and making better choices in relationships
In roughly 32 days I will be 65 years old.
I never imagined I’d be single at this age. I naively thought I’d be married for life—and clearly that was not the plan. I also didn’t realize that I had shuttered myself; played small and conformed to the expectations of others. I let myself think I wasn’t good enough for far too many years.
On the cusp of 65, I am discovering the joy of making my own choices—frivolous, serious, life changing, capricious, or carefully thought out. And finding at this age that life is not winding down but full of possibility. I may slog along some days but I remind myself I am the creator of my life. I can be any and every thing I might choose to be.
Men? A convenience. A nice pastime with the possibility of partnership—it would make a lovely addition but it not a necessity. I no longer feel flawed for being single, for being a divorced person.
It’s been an interesting year so far. I’ve traveled to New York City, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Alone. By choice. And I’ve loved exploring and learning and seeing the world through my own unique lens.
And then a man showed up, quite by accident and I decided to engage. Life seemed like it might take a different trajectory. And then suddenly you wake up in Mexico City, the morning after a Mexican witch has read your tarot cards and warned you about this man, to the realization that you’re not really in a relationship. You understand you’ve been acquired, by a man who likes the idea of you, of an “us”, but isn’t really going to put in the effort to make it a real thing.
Like buying a goldfish—minimal effort, pretty distraction.
The Mexican witch was right—as a person with creative inclinations I need someone in my life who gets that and is, if not a creative type themselves, at least interested enough to ask questions and pay attention. The moment she said those words I realized I had once again been playing the role of Girlfriend. It took less than 2 weeks for the relationship to completely fall apart. And I’m grateful for the awareness and I’m irritated. Irritated with myself for not paying enough attention. For letting my guard down and making excuses for this man and his lack of real interest. For not honoring my own needs.
It makes for a good story and I got the lesson I needed and moved on. Moved on to thinking about what I want to do for the rest of the year and how to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I know for certain that I won’t be with a romantic partner and I’m OK with that. I am quite capable of celebrating my life in the ways that suit me. Maybe I’ll eat cake and ice cream with the grandkids or maybe I’ll go someplace I’ve never been before. Who knows; I’m waiting for the decision to present itself.
But I do plan to celebrate.
To celebrate being gloriously alive, with books to read and trips to take and goals and plans for future work. To write a book. To paint. To celebrate the wisdom and freedom and possibility that awaits me. I absolutely refuse to view getting older as depressing. So, I’ll take the Senior discounts and gladly embrace Medicare, having worked for that privilege. And I’ll embrace turning 65, play with the idea of aging unapologetically and see what unfolds.
With gratitude to the Mexican tarot reader….
Image is a postcard I bought in San Miguel de Allende, of artist, Jainite Silvestre’s work.