Added: Cristofer Dinapoli - Date: 28.12.2021 12:44 - Views: 24174 - Clicks: 3857
Posted April 2, Reviewed by Ekua Hagan. Wherever I travel, and wherever I go, younger women often open up and confide in me about what is going on in their lives. The door is open for authentic conversation. I flash back to when I was younger. There were many parts of my life that I would never dream about discussing with my mother. But sometimes I talked to her friends, or to older women I met whom I could trust.
They knew how to listen. Times have changed. Nothing is too private to make it into print. There is a certain healing that takes place from not having any hidden corners of your life, from breaking the chokehold of shame. Women speak and write about everything from incest to incarceration, from masochism to masturbation , from addiction to abuse. They take you into the bedroom with them, and into the boardroom. They are often proud to be whoever they are, without having to live a secret life or feel embarrassed about their fantasies and feelings.
They come roaring out of the closet, and they find friends everywhere who connect to their revelations. But I am talking about something else. About quiet moments between a woman who is setting out in life, and one who has decades of life lived. The young women are wonderfully honest, and they discuss details of their relationships and their pains and fears that they do not want to discuss in public. They want feedback, ideas, new input. They want advice. They want to talk to someone who knows what it is like to be a woman, but who is separate from their lives. They decide very quickly if they can trust you, and I smile because I would never betray their confidence or their trust.
As the older woman in the equation, it gives me a wonderful feeling of closeness to younger women, and maybe some of the trials and pains I have gone through have served a purpose—they help me to understand the women and what they are going through. It is rare that I hear things that are not familiar to me—situations I have been in, or my friends have experienced. Longings to meet a beloved.
Guilt about past behaviors. Frissons of inadequacy, struggles with mental and physical illness, mixed feelings about motherhood, and the horrors of being betrayed by someone close to you. I always find the best way to respond is to listen, really listen, and then speak my truth. They have friends who can do that. I am a new friend, perhaps a temporary friend, who can best serve them by being honest.
And that honesty breeds more intimacy. Intimacy is, to me, one of the greatest joys in life. And I also learn from the younger women I meet. The feelings they have are familiar, but the facts of their lives are different from mine. I learn about new ways of living, working, and having relationships. It is thrilling to see how women break through and flaunt taboos I grew up with. I learn about creative ways of earning a living by doing what they love. I find out about fluidities in their lives that are dazzling and freeing.
I ask them questions about things I know nothing about. And they ask me questions about things that they know nothing about. We meet as equals, but with the acknowledgment that we are at different phases in our lives. I regret the age ghettos many of us live in. We tend to hang with people our own age, who share our values. But I love being with people of different ages, who are not like me. I enjoy it greatly when I go out to lunch with someone who is decades younger than I am or decades older.
There is no awkwardness or inequality. We meet at a place of trust and confidence, and we expand our understanding of the world when we spend time with each other. There is, admittedly, a certain comfort in surrounding ourselves with people our own age.
We share similar joys and complaints. But there is the possibility for rich learning, comfort, and connection with people, especially women, who are kindred souls even if their lives are radically different from ours. It is good for younger and older women to reach across the aisle. We all need more air and space and expansion, I think, in our relationships, whether they last an hour, a year, or a lifetime.
Judith Fein is a travel journalist who lives to leave. Judith Fein Life Is a Trip. About the Author. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. Family Life Child Development Parenting. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Back Magazine. July Who Is the True You? Back Today. Essential Re.Younger woman for or older
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