And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It is a positive thing. You can move about, unnoticed and invisible.
But is this really a good thing? A positive thing? Not being seen or heard anymore? Content to be…hidden? What about our years of wisdom and experience…
I remember a fifth grade class assignment where we had to choose a superpower we’d wish for. And why. My choice: “being invisible.” I envisioned all kinds of adventure…and power. I could go anywhere. Be anything. Find out what was going on (because, after all, there must be something more interesting going on somewhere!).
But now? Decades later? Invisible is tantamount to just not being here…or anywhere…at all. Not really. After a certain age, you tend to disappear in the eyes of the younger set. Salespeople look through you, or just over your head. Questions are dodged or ignored all together. Their attention lost while you search for reading glasses.
Not everywhere and not all the time. But often enough to piss me off. And make me speak up a little louder. Whether I have the energy or not.
Mary Chapin Carpenter has a different take on the Middle Ages.
…We used to dread lives rendered ordinary
we always said we’d own a grander story
but the only kind worth telling somehow
is the one about a jolt that makes you listen
that jagged lightning bolt of recognition
that love and kindness are all that matter now…
Mary Chapin Carpenter
If I could choose a superpower now, it would probably be flying. It would solve so many problems. And what fun!
What would be your superpower choice? And…do you think being “middle-aged” invites anonymity? And, if so, is this a positive? I am still considering the possibilities.