Just Begun

Hold your applause until the ceremony end. Yours truly, truly blessed, yet again a noble planted, Super magic, abracadabra kid.

— Mos Def

The week was filled with reminders of the age of this body. It began with a diagnosis of gout and ended at the Teen Vogue Summit surrounded by people twenty years or more my junior. I confess to feeling a type of way about the new frailties exposed in this frame, no matter how minor they may be, and for looking more like someone’s dad than an interesting person to the bright-eyed and hopeful young folks that had taken over 72andSunny on Saturday but, ultimately, I come out of these past seven days with gratitude.

There was a point on Saturday when I stood in a circle with people closer to my age than not, good friends and familiar faces, and we talked and laughed. We caught up and reminisced a bit, not with nostalgia but to acknowledge accomplishment and to recognize who we’ve become at this moment in time.

As I walked away from that group to find my seat and listen to Serena Williams and Naomi Wadler discuss how they navigate being badasses, I looked out on the sea of young women no longer thinking about my own mortality or relevance and, instead, appreciating their enthusiasm and the ways in which they were preparing to enter adulthood.

I’m grateful for that collective sense that it’s a great time to change the world whether you’re an 11-year-old who already has a strong sense of purpose or a 40-something like me who needs to get comfortable with a lower sodium diet while embracing the increasing amount of “salt” in his beard.

I’ve been here awhile, but we’ve only just begun.

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