Threats from Below

I’ve always been the youngest woman at my job. For that most part it has afforded me a a sense of comfort, since I was coddled and mentored a lot, but as I got older the vibe was different. The older women, who had been very friendly to me in the past became downright catty, when I complained to my male friends they would always say ”they’re jealous of you.” I thought that was absurd. They were settled, making more money than me, they had more clout at the job than I did, why the heck would they be jealous of me. But lo and behold they were, not of me particularly, but of my youth, my twenty-somethingness that seemed like a threat. I thought it was ridiculous, but today as I showed a younger, thinner volunteer around the job I was suddenly aware of her youth and my age. She was in her early twenties and I was in my early thirties, she had more time ahead of her and I was just getting older. Could she have the things I couldn’t seem to have because of her age? Could she snag my dream job, my dream man? The whole scenario was starting to get ridiculous and I quickly shook off my jealousy, yes jealousy of this sweet young girl. The whole incident got me wondering, do we really have to worry about threats from below?

At 33, I have been told that the men I’m interested in might want a twenty something year- old. I have nothing against twenty somethings, but how the heck does one decide that the big 30 is when you start depreciating in value?

We live in a society that is obsessed with youth. In our teens and twenties we benefit from this, but as we get older we realize that all of a sudden the tables have turned and we are passé. But are we? It seems to me that I have so much more to offer now than I ever did in my twenties. In my twenties I was an insecure mess, still trying to find Prince Charming and waiting for somebody to guide me through my career. It wasn’t until I hit my late twenties that I started really coming into my own and taking control of my own destinies. Older woman are more secure, more accomplished and more worldly, so why do we make ourselves crazy when a younger woman shows her pretty little head?

I guess for me it is that twenty-somethings remind me of lost opportunities and roads not taken. I can’t help but think if I was their age and knew what I knew know, but the truth is you can’t go back, you can only go forward and if you spend so much time worrying about younger “threats” real or imagined, than you’re not taking care of you and embracing the seasoned woman that you are. I guess when all is said and done it isn’t so much the threats from below that we have to worry about, but those inside that threaten to erode our self-esteem and trap us in a youth that we have long happily outgrown.

till next week…

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