On Removing the “Young” from “Young Clergy Woman”

A couple of years ago, I applied to be a commissioner to our denomination’s General Assembly. After glancing at the essay questions, I went back to the top of the form to fill out the easy stuff:
Name… Address… Phone… Email…
Gender… Ethnicity… Age…

The “Age” line had several ranges to choose from. I began scanning the numbers with some smugness—This will be my ace in the hole! They’re always looking for young people to go to these things—until I realized which box I would need to check at age 37:

____ 36-64
Thirty. Six.
To Sixty. Four.

When did that happen?
When did I get old enough to be lumped in with people who were one liturgical year away from retirement?
On top of it all was a panicked lament: Why, dear God, why?

CLICK HERE to read the rest at Fidelia’s Sisters.


3 thoughts on “On Removing the “Young” from “Young Clergy Woman”

  1. The only birthday I seriously freaked out over was turning 20. See, whenever I’d made mistakes prior to that, I’d told myself, “It’s okay; you’re just a teenager.” Somehow, my subconscious had twisted that around to believe that, once I was no longer a teenager, I would no longer be allowed to make any mistakes. Gah. Glad I was able to resolve THAT conundrum!

    Around that time, I also had the dawning realization that I was no longer a Child Prodigy, which was rough because that was an identity issue. There was a whole lot of stuff behind those insecurities resulting from parental expectations and communication and blah blah blah. It’s only been the past few years that I’ve *really* started to accept who I am and what I can do. More and more, I see age as irrelevant. Once in a while, I think about what more I might have accomplished if I hadn’t been so dang neurotic when I was younger, but down that path of “If Onlies” lies madness, so I try to concentrate on learning and moving forward.

    I do, however, completely identify with the twin sides of the coin of diminishing options. I used to be terrified of making choices because of all the doors that choice would close. Now? I have made my peace with the fact that I will never be able to explore every possible path in this lifetime — but I *can* cherish and experience the path that I am on.

  2. Sue says:

    This is where running is an advantage. When you check a box for a race, the older you get, the better it is. I used to be lumped with the 25-34 group. Now I am one of the younger ones in the next age bracket and actually have a chance a beating a bunch of them. And if I don’t do it before age 44, I can start all over again at age 45 🙂

  3. stf says:

    there are worse places to be stuck

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