Getting old sucks because now I look like shit not only when I’ve stayed up late or had a rough few days but all the time, despite the endless string of placebo effect face masks I slap on at night or the vitamins I take in the morning.
It’s crazy to believe it, but it’s true. Aging happens: it happens to you, and it happens hard. Damn. Worse, I also feel like shit on the daily. Forget looks. I can fix that up with light corrector and some shiny highlights. What I hate most about getting older is the sense of physical fragility I didn’t know before. I spent lots of time in hotels this year (pre-quarantine getaways, mommycations, fire evacuations, writing retreats) and I have trouble sleeping anywhere else than in my own, firm bed. Even with all the exercise and getting fit and eating better, I am constantly on the verge of having to lie down.
Sure, there’s something to be said about maturing. I don’t miss all the insecurities of my teens and the struggles of my 20’s. Heck, I am glad that my 30’s are almost over, too! Making babies was a wild ride, and now I’m starting to reap the rewards. I’m a better writer, and I’m the badass woman I hoped to become (minus the occasional mental health issues, but who doesn’t have those?!).
And yet growing old has this somber nuance to it, for empirically acquired wisdom comes with realizing your limitations, and ultimately—your own mortality.
There is an expiration date, and it inches closer, which is equally anxiety-inducing and liberating. The knowledge that you’ve reached the middle brings enlightenment, but takes away the bliss of the ignorance you practiced so joyously in youth.
All those chemicals I had before that powered me up and enabled me to function are naturally dwindling. I have to artificially substitute them now; regulate my hormones and supplement my nutrition and boost my brain so I can get by. I am slower, more reluctant to expel energy, and very careful what I use it on. Sometimes I miss the ability to party all night and go to work straight after, and being fine with sleeping 6 hours before doing it all over again.
Not the lifestyle. Gosh, no! Just the ever-flowing power surges of my young body, and maybe my smooth skin. Oh well. I gotta make do with all the aches and pains, and keep moving. I’m not nearly done, and the alternative to aging isn’t an option anyway.
So I smoosh my kids faces and I smooch their strong bodies and I imagine that I can bottle up their hyperactive energy to drink up when I’m down. I used to joke that all Bulgarians have the Benjamin Button’s disease, and that we age backwards when I was asked for an ID at the store... It was fun, flaunting my good genes, while it lasted. I’m sure I have 10 more years before I truly start looking and feeling old-old. Until then, I have made up my mind to use that aging body as much as I possibly can.
Is this what midlife crisis is all about, then?! Having sex and getting your face done, experiencing new things and going nuts one last time? Wow. I get it. Some people age with dignity, and others just don’t give a crap and do what they want. I have no judgment or preference for either. Whatever works, right?
I wouldn’t hate to (in no particular order) finally learn to roller skate at 40, visit Japan in the next 5 years, remodel my house to turn it into my dream home, get a dog for the first time in my life, publish a book, and have a few hundred more orgasms.
Life’s too short to worry about getting old. It’s not ideal, but it’s also not over until it’s over. Speaking of which, I must run. Not literally, running is ridiculous. But there’s a memoir with my name on it back in my hotel room.
As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you around.