Thoughts on Getting Older

Thoughts on Getting Older

Many people my age might be noticing that a lot of their friends are starting to settle down and have kids. I see that happening around me too, I guess that's to be expected as one nears 30. But I'm going to get a little "dark" here by saying that I'm thinking more about death because I'm more aware of how easy it is to die. I'm more aware of the things that I haven't yet accomplished that I desperately want to. Of the tiny things I do now that I might regret later. Of how much it hurts to lose someone who means everything to you.

I can't personally prove it but I think reading makes you more empathetic. Or maybe I can because here I am, exhibit A. In fact, I know there are many scholarly articles proving that it does. Here's one on the impact reading has on kids. Reading allows you to better visualize a reality that is not yours but still feel something. I think I'm a little more sensitive because of reading. Getting older, I would like to believe, has also contributed to my understanding of myself and of others. It has taught me to appreciate. To take a moment to do small, meaningful things each day.

I remember hearing stories about people in their twenties making a fuss about getting older. Shedding tears and getting snot all over themselves before getting shitfaced as if there was no tomorrow. I was probably an idiotic mixture of those things at the cusp of some years. And now I don't understand what the big issue is about getting old. I mean, I saw a woman with stark white hair the other day and thought, Man, I can't wait to be old. Then there is our strange society that is obsessed with youth but concocts a trend that sparks people to dye their hair gray on purpose.

My mom's been plucking white hairs out of her head for as long as I can remember, sparse at first but now her head is dusted with them. She has virgin hair and a sensitive scalp so she can't dye it. It's been eating at her for months but she's finally letting up like I'd hoped. My nani had what I call biryani hair, because of the henna it had shades of orange, red and yellow like saffron over a bed of white rice. I loved that. I loved everything about that and when I conjure up her image, that's what comes first.

I hope to embrace the pencil ticks that mark you as you get older. I hope to take those senior discounts and abuse the shit out of them at Golden Nugget. If I find myself on public transit, I hope to be that sweet looking lady who stares you down until you give up your seat.

I am feeling a lot of emotions right now. Someone who was a part of my childhood, who acted as my surrogate grandfather, died today. And there are so many sentences budding that begin with, "Death has a way of..."

Death has a way of...

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  • try having a kid later in life, like we did (twins). Now we are obligated to live long enough to not only see the kids make it to adulthood but also through the hardest part of that: their 20s, when life is a minefield of raw emotions, unclear signals and uninvited hostility from others vying for the same resources.

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