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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