Friday, November 12, 2010

being awesome your whole life

It's pretty great and amazing that we live in the time that we do, when we get to be awesome for our entire lives.  I think I must have grown up with a different idea.  In fact, I know I did.  Getting old meant getting lame, getting boring, getting stuffy.  In fact, if you were really cool -- Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Janis Joplin, James Dean, Darby Crash, Sid Vicious, oh and so many others -- then you actually really were dead, your unworldly genius burnt out hot and fast, too good for this world, live hard, die young.  The Who said it best: "I hope I die before I get old."

Naturally I can see how self-serving it is to unfurl my Manifesto of Perpetual Ageless Awesome, given that I am just a smidge away, 2 years + 2 months, from 50 myself.  But the older I get (the wiser?), the more I am certain that "old" is not about chronological age.

You can keep being awesome forever, as it turns out.  After all, note that those old Who men are still performing, and at the Super Bowl no less.  They got chronologically old, didn't die, and still are awesome.  [Too bad recent setlists don't include My Generation.  Such a great song, and would be so sweet and funny if they sang it.]  And The Rolling Stones?  Or Meryl Streep? Don't get me started. We are surrounded by examples that you can be awesome at any age.

In a yoga class recently with Stacey Rosenberg, she talked about how inspired she is by her students, by her friends and community, that we are all such seekers (and yes, that made me sing another Who song, thanks), always exploring how we can be fuller, truer expressions of our own selves.  This, she continued, seems distinctly different from previous generations, in older times, where there was a sense that you got to a certain point in your life and you were done, set, no further possibility of growth or change.  At a certain age, you just sat down.

Those days are so gone.

I don't have to look far for examples of how to remain young. It's not just celebrities, huge rock stars.  My parents are number 1 Manifesters of Perpetual Ageless Awesome, always proving it isn't chronological age that makes a person boring and stuffy.  It's really something else, a shutting-down in the mind, a disconnection, a loss of engagement.  And our friend Pierre, who just turned, yesterday, another shade of 80 -- utterly delightful, always, plugged in, entertaining, delighted with the world and delightful as a result.  Across the age-range of my friends, I see it too.  That this engagement with the world is what keeps you vibrant, supple, alive. 

Let the young snicker as I continue to sing, loud, "I hope I die before I get old."  Because I know, and you know, that really, I'll never get old as long as I live.  I'll just keep being awesome and getting more awesome all the time.  It's the only option, unless you want to be dead while you're still breathing.  

Here's my anthem, sung by someone whose Awesome is still unfolding, across genres and decades, keeping me on the path, singing the whole way.  Thanks for inspiring the Manifesto, EC.

And keep being awesome.


1 comment:

Ariane said...
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