The Middle Aged Rosy Ones

As we sit on the beach in Sayulita, Mexico, my boyfriend and I both realize at the same moment that we are no longer the twenty somethings. It’s a strange thing to go from being those young ones, something you’ve just always been, to the middle aged ones with jobs, responsibilities, and commitments and to not be entirely sure when that change took place. Sayulita is full of both perfectly bronzed young babes and older retiree expats and only a few who look like us.

Early morning

We are up early each morning, partly because his kids have us trained to wake by 6 and partly because we can’t seem to stay up past 10, even as the party rages outside. I love mornings in strange towns; just the garbage men cleaning up last night’s trash, the sweepers, bakers, surfers, and parents of young kids walking on the beach. I take pictures on these morning walks that make it look like we are in a not yet discovered Mexican beach town, but Sayulita has definitely been discovered and we are the late ones to the party.

Sayulita Plaza
Candy Cart

When I was 23, freshly graduated from college, I packed a bag and headed south with three friends for two months in Mexico. We were those 20 somethings; no reservations, no plans, no worries, and perfectly toned bronze bodies. I learned how to play backgammon in a small bar in Puerto Escondido that became our jumping off point to begin each night. Several games would be followed by tacos and then lead us to some dance club on the beach playing Manu Chao, Bob Marley, Shakira, and Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack. We’d get to sleep sometime before dawn, wake at noon, and begin again.

We took photos on my Pentax K1000 camera and, depending on if we were in a town for long enough, would drop film off and wait a couple of days for it to be developed. We carried the 2003 Lonely Planet guidebook like it was our bible because it was. Dog eared, stained, and written all over, I still have that book. Every few days we’d find an Internet cafe and check our email, something I never checked at home, but it was easier than writing letters home to mom. No social media, no TripAdvisor, no Google. Sometimes we’d look for a place and never find it, ending up somewhere unexpected and possibly better? We’ll never know. I do know it all worked out, somehow, every time.

Then, during our last week in Mexico City, as I sat looking through the housing rental classifieds with a friend we’d met who lived there, I got an email from a friend back home asking if I’d like to work on a movie starting in a few weeks in New Mexico. Hmmm, I thought, that could be interesting.

Around this same time, across the world, my boyfriend was traveling and playing soccer for various teams in Africa and Australia. He earned just enough money to survive, buy food, a clunker car, and pay rent on a cheap place to live. Life was great.

As we sit in one cool restaurant after another, I eavesdrop on groups of young women talking about the availability, emotional and otherwise, of the guys and girls they are interested in, of where they are coming from and where they want to go next. It’s not that I envy these conversations, I really don’t, it’s just a shock to realize I’m no longer these women. My boyfriend relates to my realization and has his own version of one.

I love Mexico. Always have. As I sit on the beach my attention is now drawn to the boomer retirees. Goal.

Where am I coming from and where do I want to go next? That film industry thing my friend called me about back then turned out to be ok but at some point in the future I look forward to when it too is a memory and we live near a beach and eat papaya all day.


In the meantime, I’m grateful for the life we’ve created, for the adventures I said yes to back in the day, and for those yet to come.

Turn Turn Turn

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heavenA time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weepTo everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heavenA time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones togetherTo everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heavenA time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracingTo everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heavenA time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

-The Byrds

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