Aging is terrifying. I was pissed about turning 25, and that was way before stuff started to actually hurt. Now, sometimes, the ache sets in – that mythical payback for the years of abuse I put my body through while playing sports, falling off decks, and down staircases in all my gawky glory has finally arrived.
Also, I have to do more hair removal than I ever thought it was possible give a damn about. There are four different body hair removal devices on my vanity, and none of those include a normal razor. If I am not vigilant, the chin hair sprouts like foundation is their fertilizer. I thought this was misogynist jokes and absolutely didn’t know that I’d spend an hour or two a week pulling individual hairs out of my face as to not look as if I have a five o’clock shadow. WTF?
Speaking of hair, there is more than incidental gray on my head now. Thank god for hair dye, because I’m going to be coloring this shit that until they pry the bottle from my cold, dead, purple fingers, or the mane goes a cool salt and pepper, whichever comes first.
A day without makeup is a day where someone inevitably tells me how tired I look, and asks if everything is okay. It’s fucking fine. I just didn’t put on any mascara. Shut up and bring me coffee. Except don’t because I’d feel bad and have to buy you some tomorrow.
Used to be, I could take down a bottle of whiskey and be up in time for breakfast. These days, I have to take two vacation days and plan for weeks in order to get drunk. Not shitty, not drink a whole damn bottle of whiskey and lose myself in the fun, but loose enough to socialize effectively. It’s horse shit.
The anger is kinda shocking. Not sure if it’s all the injustice in the world, or just the fact that I pretty much inject all of it I can stand into my brain under the guise of staying informed, but my capability to endure bullshit is much shorter than it was. I used to pride myself on my patience and ability to survive in less than ideal situations, hell, even thrive. Now, I just want to throw things, or maybe move to a compound in the mountains and hole up forever. Okay, and maybe get a dragon or three for protection.
Adulting, though, is interesting, and where things start to improve. When one is paying for their own shit, it really reduces the number of people who are entitled to opine on what to do with one’s life. That’s kinda nice. Like tomorrow, I’m planning on having cereal for supper. This is totally an okay thing to do because I am an adult and paid for that knockoff Reeses Puffs with earned money. Should it happen every day? No. But it’s gonna happen tomorrow, just because.
There are other things. The glorious lack of fucks to give about petty BS is very freeing. My body, though imperfect, is fine. My opinions are also fine. Your opinions, body, and beliefs, are probably fine too, but chances are I’ll call you out if they’re damaging to others because I am done being quiet. The world is bigger than any one of us, but I also understand nuance and human behavior much better than I ever did when younger. This lets me move through the world with more empathy and less puking in bar parking lots because drinking to forget the self-loathing.
Kid me would be fucking shocked at how “rich” I am. Kid me would also be wrong about that estimate, but still be adorably impressed. She would then proceed to yell at me about living in the suburbs and admonish me for working in an office, because kid me was even more of a non-fuck-giving jerk than the current version.
My family is incredible, and I love them fiercely. Reflectahubby leaves me speechless all the time. He’s tough yet squishy on the inside, and can always make me laugh when not much else can. We have a great group of friends who are the best group of people to be surrounded by that a human could ever ask for. Even our curly little dog is amazing. Then add on top of that all of the Pocket Friends (them’s the internet folks), and well, its quite humbling. Love abounds.
I might be scared of getting older, but it’s hard not to be anxious about the future right now. But that doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop moving, to stop learning, to stop trying to be better. It would be easy to lean in to all of these flaws that I have and stop trying, to get stuck in place. But we make these decisions, birthday or just a regular day, to get up out of bed at all and interact with the world.
Maybe this year I’ll wish for more days where taking on the world feels like a worthy challenge rather than an ordeal to endure. Where I remember to be grateful and humble and do things out of design rather than reaction. Recognizing the good things more often, and appreciating the not-so-good things for what they are. Getting older is scary, but the lessons are there for us to learn if we choose to learn them. I just keep putting it off so I can lay in bed and watch old cartoons instead.
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