You’re Not Fading, You’re Blending

 

As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed I don’t attract the attention I once did. The catcalls from windows of passing cars have ceased along with the second glances of passersby. I haven’t made a male bicycle rider pile up on his bike and walk off with it in pieces (as I was told) since I was in my 30s. What’s changed?

I still feel like the same person inside. Yet, when I look in the mirror, I realize I don’t look 30-something anymore. Part of me misses the admiration I once received and flattery I experienced from being noticed without doing a thing to earn it. Yet, part of me is glad to blend into my surroundings more.

When I first realized this phenomenon of going unnoticed, I was somewhat alarmed. I thought I was fading – disappearing into obscurity. Then I realized I wasn’t fading away as much as I am blending – blending like the strokes of color that are placed on the painter’s canvas and worked into the painting by the artist’s skillful hands.

Men and women both go through this blending process as we age, even though our symptoms may vary. When we mistake it for fading away or disappearing, that’s when we get ourselves into trouble. Fading away is a scary, involuntary disappearing act that creates inner conflict and defiance. That’s when the odd behaviors of a mid-life crisis may begin to manifest themselves.

We have affairs and/or get divorced to marry younger versions of our previous spouse. We may become withdrawn and depressed. Or we might try to recapture our youthfulness through clothing and sports cars. Whatever form it takes – overcompensating or lack of engagement with the world around us – we feel scared and anxious when we view aging as a fading away process, a disappearing act, one step closer to death’s door.

So, I’m going to be straight with you. You have to change that inner voice that tells you you’re fading away. Because you’re not! And if you don’t change that inner voice, you may start wasting a lot of time in denial and perpetuating harmful ways of staying visible on yourself and others.

No matter what age you are, you will always be relevant and worthy of being valued. Stay engaged. Stay true to yourself. Change in forward-thinking ways instead of trying to return to a past that is gone. You must understand and believe that you’re not fading away. You’re blending more and more into the canvas that is being created by the Master Artist’s hand.

 

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