On Age and Numbers

Shirley Main in the midst of creating a memory she'll never forget on the streets of Yangon at age 60.

© Dustin Main 2014

My Mom turned 65 years old this past weekend, and it had me thinking about how we create markers in time in our lives. Maybe that's living life in your 30's, then your 40's, then your 50's. Maybe you're retiring when you turn 65. Each can mean something, like how you are "supposed" to live or behave. It helps us make sense of life, sometimes through stories we create for ourselves.

It also had me thinking about how they can often be used as a negative. I can't do *this* because I'm *this* age. I shouldn't act like *this* now that I'm *this* age. Sometimes this comes from the outside world, and sometimes this comes right from ourselves. It can be dangerous, and put us in a box that can be hard to escape from.

My Mom has grown so much in the last 5-odd years. At a time when many people are more fearful, she has been embracing new ideas and challenges in major ways. This shows up in the art she consumes, the things she spends her time on, and the places she's traveling.

We can all be influenced by what society thinks our age should represent. But whether you're on the cusp of a new decade, or just adding another year onto your age, I'd encourage you to be true to you.

And speaking of true to you... this photo is from my Mom's trip to Myanmar a few years ago. She's wearing a traditional Myanmar longyi, which garnered her many many fans everywhere we went.

It was just after sunrise near the Yangon train station, and the light was glowing. A lady had feed tossed out for the pigeons, and they were gathered around pecking away. I told my Mom to stand by them, and while she was a bit reluctant, she got into position. Meanwhile, my camera is at the ready.

"Take one step back" I said. She cautiously moves back.

"One more."

"Ok, just one more..."

The birds fly up, the air tossing her longyi and hair in the wind. *Click*

Trust :)