Hanging up My Dancing Shoes

Last night I found myself sitting on the sidelines in a discotheque. Anyone who knows me would know that this is unlike me. In the past, I would be dancing my heels off but last night, I simply can’t find the rhythm and beat. As I watch the undulating bodies on the dance floor, I started thinking that perhaps it is time to hang up my dancing shoes.

When I first started writing in this blog some years back, I have written a piece entitled ‘C’est la vie’ which reflects my contemplation about growing old and the changing times.  Six years ago, I was still resolved to hold on to my ‘youth’ as it was and live life to the fullest.  However, last night in one of the dark corners of the discotheque I was contemplating about growing old again and that perhaps, it is time to embrace the beckoning of the ‘middle age’.

There is no denying it anyway. More white hair is sprouting from my head than six years ago. My back hurts after a long day of hardwork. I get grumpy when I get little sleep. I am stuck to the music of my youth and cannot relate to the ones that the young ones are listening to right now.Slowly but surely, little fine wrinkle starts appearing on my foreheads and crinkles on the sides of my eyes. I take a tablet daily and not just prn.  My litany of ailments is getting longer instead of shorter…so I am indeed getting old.

But we should not associate only negative things with getting on with age.  Though people always see the biological clock as the woman ages, a woman is much more than her reproductive capability. Well meaning relatives, and even strangers, often come up to me and ask things like ‘when are you getting married? When are you having children? you are not getting any younger you know…’ As if I needed reminding of all these things. If it was as easy as buying something over the counter in a pharmacy, heck I wouldn’t even wait for a sale, in fact I would have gladly taken out a loan to ‘buy’ my very own family. But it isn’t. Society still, unfortunately, equates a woman’s worth with her ability to raise a family, nevermind if she has a successful career and contributed to society. A woman is still not considered complete until she has spawned clones of herself and her mate. It is this expectation of society that often makes me feel down about getting old and still single. I often have to remind myself that this is not all I have to be. I did not push myself through the education system for years just so I could just sprout out babies. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have children of my own but at this stage of my life, it just isn’t happening. I am more than my age, my reproductive prowess, my job, my education and my faith. I am all these and more. But I am, yet again, digressing from the discussion.

A friend of mine used to answer, whenever someone comments about him getting older, that he doesn’t mind as long as his life shows that he has indeed grown. So does my life show that I have indeed grown? I would like to think so. I have learnt that life is too short to waste on things and persons who shouldn’t matter in your life. I have learnt thatlife is to be spent living and not just keeping our noses to the groundstone or sleeping the day away. I have learnt the importance of saying ‘no’ even if may mean that someone might become offended. I learned that whilst my destiny may have been written in the stars, I still get to decide my fate.  I learned that the more I learn, the more I really don’t know. Finally I learnt that the aging process is not something to fear but something to embrace.

So am I hanging my dancing shoes finally? Maybe I won’t be hitting the dance floor like those 20- something yuppies when the R and B music is blaring but perhaps…when the music is just right, I might just be tempted to dance again. Afterall, whoever said that dancing is just for  the young ones?

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