If you aren’t already aware, the term “old as” is short for “old as fuck/shit/balls/the hills.” You get where I’m going with this. And even though as I am writing this I am 44/”old as” I don’t always feel that way and on a good day I look young-ish.
Every once in a while I still even get id’ed but it doesn’t have the effect I’m looking for anymore (namely making me feel young).
One time a while back I had to hand my driver’s license to a kid ringing in my bottle of cava and he made a face like, “Wow, you’re that old?”. He even had the audacity to apologize to me for asking for my id in the first place. Ever since then when I get id’ed I get a bit bossy. I make sure to look the cashier/bartender/bouncer in the eye and tell them that they cannot comment one way or the other on my age. I instruct these people to just look at my id and give it back. Don’t tell me that I don’t look that old because that just makes me feel old. Everyone kindly abides by my rule but there’s still a part of me that wants them to tell me that I look younger than my age but that doesn’t happen anymore.
I wonder why it’s so important for me to stay young???
Of course I know there’s the obvious cultural obsession with not aging. It’s about not looking as good as you once did or feeling it too. And it’s also the classic midlife crisis situation of not having as much possibility ahead of you anymore while still dealing with your fair share of disappointments behind you (if you’re human).
In the middle of my midlife crisis, if I’m honest with myself I’m actually pretty happy in my life for the most part. It certainly hasn’t looked anything like I thought it would and that’s what has taking some getting used to but in general I’m way happier and healthier now then I was in my 20’s. Truth be told I think I like being older better but I just don’t want to look old. Superficial but true. And the crisis continues…
Anyways, this week a dear co-worker of mine turned 29. She’s so lovely, talented, sweet, beautiful, and funny. And she feels old. Bless. I wanted to kick her in the shins but then after that I wanted to shake her and tell her how incredible she is and that age is just a number. But at this point in time I don’t really feel or believe that myself. I wish I did but I just don’t.
I mean it’s such a ludicrous thing, isn’t it? I’m complaining about being old but I’m still here. I’m living and breathing and loving and healthy. I should feel proud and empowered to be here but instead I feel guilty that I’m not setting a better example for any other younger people in my orbit. Letting them know that you’re only as “old as you let yourself feel”. I want to be the epitome of aging gracefully but I’m still figuring out my own stuff and can’t muster any sort of real, believable encouragement.
Are you conscious of setting a good example to younger people to inspire them about aging? Is there any forty something you look to as a role model who rocks getting older?
I know the answers lie in me coming to terms with my own life, embracing and loving it for my own sake, then I can spread the good word to others. I’m just not quite there yet. But I ‘m trying. And I guess I’m setting example of being honest and real in the mean time and there’s something to be said for that. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.