Perspective, Knowledge, Wisdom

When I was young, I would look at older women with their round bodies and flabby upper arms and think how ‘grandmotherly’ they looked and swore I would never look like that. Now I know that there isn’t a whole lot I can do about my body shape; the flabby arms; and no way am I ‘grandmotherly’ even though I have three grandchildren.

When I was a young woman, I thought getting married, settling down, having kids, was the be-all and end-all of my existence. It wasn’t. During the marriage, having to support the family, going through living with an addicted personality and the pathological lying, I wondered what I had been thinking. I was raised in the time when women weren’t supposed to have a career, be good at math and science, or be anything other than a nurse or a teacher while waiting for a proposal. Now I know how wrong that all was for me.

When I was around forty, I decided to go to college for the first time. My counselor at the Junior College told me there was no way I could go to school full-time, work full-time, and get decent grades. He was a young 20-something who looked like he was still in school himself. And he was wrong. After I graduated from Junior College, I went on to University, and earned a BA and an MA.

Perspective changes depending on where you are. As a young child, I couldn’t imagine being the age of my grandmother. But here I am. I couldn’t imagine not being married and having a family, because that’s what was expected of me. Looking back, I know I was good at math and science and sometimes wish I had had the fortitude to do what I wanted to do instead of what was expected of me. I don’t regret my marriage; it gave me my two sons and eventually their children. And it taught me about who I am and how much I can endure. During that time, I began to grow and emerge from the shell I had built around myself as protection. I opened myself up to new knowledge, new experiences.

After my divorce, I didn’t know how to redefine myself. I was in grad school at the time, and all my classmates were the same age as my sons. There wasn’t anyone my age to talk to who would understand. But I made it through. In the years since then, with a lot of reflection, reading, listening, I like who I have become. I don’t live my life the way I’m expected to live it by those around me. I live my life for me. I do what I like to do because it makes me happy. I learn what I want to learn and will share my knowledge and wisdom with anyone who wants it.

I am not perfect and probably never will be. I continue to grow and change and learn. And that’s all any of us can ask for.


6 thoughts on “Perspective, Knowledge, Wisdom

  1. Age gives us such a different perspective. Back then you only did your best given what you knew at the time. Regardless of our age we should be more eager to learn from women who are older and have already learned so much from those experiences.

  2. Well, reflecting, are you wishing you had listened to your elders? Really? Its a tough ask. Perhaps all we can listen to is the echoes of what they said, appreciating the resonance of what they said so long ago. To hear the first chime of a bell is diconcerting, alarming, awakening. But as the reverberations radiate, mellow, soften, dissipate, a stilling calmness settles. Is that the elders strory?

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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