There is something about people of a ‘certain age’ who have aged well*. Those individuals who keep a certain sense of style, a sense of self; those who carry an awareness about themselves (of fashion and culture) and engage the world around them. They know who they are and yet they remain curious, which keeps them fresh and interesting instead of stale and old.
Traveling allows you to see all sorts of people, from all walks of life. There are those who choose their identity and those who try to fit into a mold... there are those who try to remain young, and those who loose themselves in the slow, sad acceptance, of mediocrity and age. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but as with everything, those who appear to be choosing their lives seem so much happier, healthier, and more content than those who have simply let go. There is a cool confidence and a calm embrace of the world around them.
While I was eating breakfast at the airport on a recent trip, I watched all the different people come and go. There were old men leaning against the bar, taking in the scenery, talking about literature and current events with a proactive, engaged tone... There was an old couple sitting in silence, another contemplating the fate of the world (how our nation is doomed and we are going down in flames), another sat content and smiling at each other, and still another sat across from each other glowering over their ever expanding waist lines and McDonalds breakfast... There were women reading the news on their iPads, flipping through fashion magazines, and gossiping about celebrities. Women who are striving to be young sitting at the bar drinking mimosas, talking about what “Donna” wore to work the other day and how they “can’t believe she still works there!”
...It amazes me how many people there are, how many lives are being lead all over the world, all the time. Every day we inch towards our fate- the men at the bar (engaged and self aware) or the couple and their McDonalds (disconnected and afraid)... the choice is ours to make. Don't worry, I have every confidence in the world you are the former, not the latter.
*Essentially this whole post could be summarized as follows- I want to be as fabulous as Meryl Streep when I grow up and as wise (and well spoken) as Maya Angelou.