Looking for more excellent perspectives on aging? Check out our Fine Lines series, edited by Sari Botton.

When Megan Kimble moved to Austin, Texas, she started to volunteer with Capital City Village, a nonprofit that allows people to age in their homes by connecting members with those that can do repairs and offer rides. Simply wanting to truly know her new city and its inhabitants a little better, Kimble discovered that spending time with those far older than her offered not only new friendships, but valuable perspective unavailable anywhere else at any price. Read the story at CityLab.

I’m trying to get to know Austin—to understand this city beyond its carefully curated twang and charm. And to do that, I’m looking beyond my immediate contemporaries.

I struggled to build a new community for myself in Austin. I drove in crushing traffic to eat tacos from trailers, sit on patios under twinkle lights, and stand in bars watching live music. But sometimes it felt like I was performing life in Austin instead of living it.

I imagine being on the flipside of my life. If, at 32, I have just finished the first third of my life, what will it feel like when I am beginning the last third? I like talking to people whose major life decisions have already happened—who they’ll marry, whether or not to have kids, where they’ll live, what they’ll do there. Over the months, as I become un-partnered and start “doing the computer dating,” spending time with these more seasoned humans offers a perspective that is grounding, calming. The decisions that feel so fraught now will be remembered differently in 30 years. They remind me to take myself less seriously—to relish rather than fear all that I still don’t know.

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