Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained in the way of righteousness.
I’ve never been afraid of age or growing old. When I was 5, I dreamed of being 10. When I was 10, I dreamed of being 15. When I was 15, I dreamed of being 20. And when I turned 20, I realized no matter what your age is, there will always be people who consider you old and people who consider you young.
I’m not afraid of age because with age comes experience, and with experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes a story only you can tell because you have lived. I want to live. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Proverbs 16:31,
To some people, 25 years is a very short life. To others, it’s quite long. Others even use the phrase “half way to 50” or “quarter of a century.” I had a biology teacher in high school named Mr. Fehlhaber. (He was one of my favorite teachers because he treated every student the same and always wrote in cursive and used a ruler when he wrote. An extremely immaculate man.) He said 25 years was the prime of your life. For some reason, this became one of the random bits of “outside-of-the-book” lessons that I held on to and chose to believe.
So I write these words to all of you having reached my prime. Of course, this point in life is different for everyone, but I know I’ve reached mine. I’m living my dream of living in another country and teaching English, a dream that has become so rooted in reality I can’t really imagine anything different. I have a community of friends that I consider family, people I trust and love, people who know me and accept me, people who have changed my life. I’m doing what all my friends in high school voted me most likely to do: being a missionary. And, on a physical level, I’ve never been more in shape and toned in my life! I have a life that I absolutely love and wouldn’t trade for the world.
And the best part is that this is it. It really doesn’t get better than this, this day-by-journey of loss and love, success and failure, disappointment and fulfillment.
Another random bit of “outside-of-the-book” lessons I attained came from Kristina Meyers, my piano teacher in high school. She told me that when you’re 5, one year is 1/5 of your life. When you’re 20, one year is 1/20 of your life. The older you get, the smaller a percentage a year of your life becomes. Thus, I logically concluded after she taught me this, that time just keeps getting faster the older you get.
So no matter what percentage a year of your life is at this point in time, I hope you love it. I hope it is filled with people who impact your heart, body and mind. And I hope at least one of your dreams has become so rooted in reality and that it almost feels impossible to dream of anything different.