As I find myself a few days shy of thirty-three I am finding myself feeling rather pensive. I have found that, by and large, I have enjoyed my birthdays in my late twenties and early thirties. This year, however, I made the mistake of watching the documentary Ballerina about a month ago, despite Isaac’s emphatic exclamations that he didn’t “wike” it. (Perhaps because it was in Russian with subtitles?) It was beautiful.
Once upon a time, when I was nine years old, I started taking ballet lessons. Like so many little girls do, I wanted to be a ballerina. I took lessons, saving up paper route money for pointe shoes and lambs wool, until I was somewhere past the age of fifteen and my dislike of my body in a leotard and tights outweighed the enjoyment of dancing. Up in our storage area there is still a small dance bag containing my old leotards and tights and worn pointe shoes. I pulled them out about a week ago, tried them on, and determined that running shoes are much much more comfortable. More comfortable, but not nearly as lovely. Maybe someday I will take some sort of dance class again. Watching the documentary made me ache in a certain way; to move like that, to be so lost in the music… what an amazing gift.
But I will never be a ballerina. If not only for the fact that I don’t have the right build or the flexibility, I am simply too old.
Now I know that there are many many things that I can still do at the “old” (and I say that very tongue-in-cheek) age of thirty-three. There is nothing stopping me from taking a writing class or learning a foreign language, from picking back up my Greek lexicon or teaching myself Latin. When time and money and children permit, perhaps there will be traveling, or learning how to decorate cakes, or playing the piano again. I can run faster than I could run in high school and feel more at home and confident in running than I ever did in college. I could probably even learn a stringed instrument and realize my dream of at least playing at a very amateur level in a string quartet (provided I had money for instrument and lessons and time and a sound proof room to practice) There is a lot left to do and fun to be had.
At the same time, realizing limits is a sad thing, the loss of something, and I think that is what I am feeling right now. It is such a strange thing to know that I will simply never be able to do certain things even if I love them or am interested in them. No matter how much time or effort I am willing to expend some things are beyond my grasp in this lifetime.
I am almost thirty-three. I have regrets scattered across the last fifteen years. In another fifteen years I will have regrets from my life today. Right now I am trying to figure out how best to appreciate the amazing blessings in my life, of which there are so many, while minimizing regrets later on.
I suppose there are worse things I could be contemplating as I age.
In keeping with the melancholy – today’s running song: Pink: Glitter in the Air.