What age did you think was old when you were a kid?
For me, the aging process would start at a ripe 25, the magical year I’d have my life “together” in loving matrimony, multiple college degrees, 2.5 children, and millions of dollars to my name. A quick scroll on Instagram tells us that maybe this is happening for lots of people. Thing is, when my 25 rolled around, I wasn’t close to any of those things. It was then that I realized the fantasy I’d built my beliefs around were just that: fantasies. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I began to redefine what “being old”, or rather growing up, was for Me 2.0, and not the ideas of my 9-year-old mind. I learned to rethink happiness, success, love, and how to enjoy life at every stage it presents.
Every few months or so, I have to remind myself of this and the progress I’ve made as an adult. It just so happened that around the time I reflected on this in October, I was at Blogalicious 9 during their co-hosted #DisruptAging luncheon sponsored by AARP.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping people ages 50 and older to improve their quality of life as they age. With over 38 million members and growing, they lead positive social change through our extensive product offerings and services.
Lady of Honor Kim Coles candidly spoke on the joys life brings when you relax and just keep living! Listening to her share the peaks and valleys of her lived decades, I concluded that it only gets greater later. (And at 55, she’s living (and lovely) proof that it does). As a woman who often describes herself as a multi-hyphenate, it was crucial that I allowed her words, and those of the awesome AARP representatives, to resonate with me. That “woo woo woo” moment surely didn’t fall on deaf ears, as several of the conference attendees agreed or felt relieved by them.
— Mrs. Staggs (@ichoosethesun) October 5, 2017
— Blogalicious (@beblogalicious) October 5, 2017
— Pamela J. Booker (@pamelajbooker) October 5, 2017
— Sandie Chen (@sandieachen) October 5, 2017
— Jonelle Henry (@JonelleHenry) October 5, 2017
#DisruptAging is the medium set aside for new funny and honest conversations about how we want to live and age. This is an ongoing campaign that encourages others to own their age and challenge the neverending ageist beliefs that we’ve bought into — from society, our families, and even ourselves.
What AARP is doing with #DisruptAging is featuring new ways to live and age, while providing complimenting solutions and products. I love that they’re taking what it means to be a catalyst to new, literal levels.
If I could thank AARP and #DisruptAging, I’d tell them that I appreciate them for doing the work! From their handpicked team members of varying ages to actress-speaker Kim Coles, this activation encouraged me to breathe, believe and keep pursuing the desires of my (multi-passionate) heart. Life isn’t necessarily about what you think you should have but more about how you handle what’s there already. Truly, there’s not an age limit on success or happiness as long as you’re willing to just keep living!
Ariel C. Williams is the founding editor-in-chief of Slay Culture. She’s a millennial who’s down for the culture, loves Netflix, and pegs Master P as one of her entrepreneurial heroes. Buy her book The Girl Talk Chronicles here. Follow her at @ArielSaysNow everywhere.