I’m getting old.
I know what you’re going to say, and you’re right.
…I should shut the $#%! up.
Most of the people with whom I interact on a daily basis are older than I am – and would probably laugh in my face for saying such a thing. I’m only 24, after all. Old age’s heavy weight has yet to fall on my young shoulders. My mind is still sharp, my body has not fallen victim to gravity’s unlucky pull, and I have yet to develop any particular affinity toward prunes or bingo. These facts alone should support the notion that as a “twenty-something” I am, in fact, still very young.
But I cannot deny that time is a one-way street, and with every passing second I am plummeting further forward, away from my blissful youth and into the dark abyss of middle-agedness. And contrary to you nay-sayers who insist that I am in my biological prime, I have legitimate evidence to support me here.
For starters, I have gray hairs. Or I should say, I have at least one gray hair. It shows its ugly face about once every six months or so, and it’s always in the same spot – so it might very well just be the same wretched bastard sneaking its way back like a weed every time I pluck it. That malicious little jerk must take pleasure in my horrified look in the mirror, followed by me frantically raking through the rest of my hair searching for others. When I don’t find any, I promptly yank it out, dispose of the evidence, and spend a few minutes sobbing into my knees on the bathroom floor. I imagine the hair watches this with satisfaction, already planning its next return with a likely greater vengeance and accomplices.
Also, as I get older, energy seems to be in increasingly short supply. I used to have SO MUCH of it. One of the most prominent memories of my childhood is of people repeatedly instructing me to calm down. I hardly ever sat still, constantly bouncing and fidgeting, and my transportation-of-choice between any two points was rarely walking. I would run, skip, cartwheel (and, because I was in dance), leap everywhere I went. I was constantly in motion. …And now when the remote is on the other end of the couch, reaching over to get it requires an eight-second mental pep talk. I do exercise, I do make an effort to stay active, but it’s just that – effort. That kind of energy and liveliness used to come so naturally to me.
I don’t care about birthdays anymore. Everybody warned me about this one when I turned 21. “Have fun, this is the last birthday that matters and it’s all downhill from here.” (…Yeah happy birthday to you too, asshole.) But they were right. Birthdays used to be hands-down, THE most important thing in the world. I had countdowns, made huge plans, wrote in my journal before and after midnight to document any tangible changes in maturity from one age to the next… It was a big deal. But after my 21st birthday I guess there weren’t many more milestones to look forward to, and it seemed like I blinked and I was 22. Last year I didn’t even remember that my birthday was coming up until someone else brought it up and asked if I had any fun plans. And my exact reaction was: “Oh right, I forgot about that… No, I guess I don’t.” If my younger self were to hear me say that, she would probably smack me in the face.
Stuff hurts. Every so often I’ll wake up to a random ache or pain somewhere. At one point, waking up to a sore back or a mystery bruise would have been enough to ignite concern and worry and possibly alert my parents – but when pain becomes more just a part of your day-to-day existence, it doesn’t even surprise or concern me anymore. I’m just getting older and my body, in turn, is getting wimpier.
That isn’t all, but I KNOOOW that anyone 25-and-up is going to tell me that I ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And you’re right. I ain’t.
…And so, whatever, I will go ahead and shut the $#%! up. And maybe go have myself a prune.