I made the mistake this morning of really looking in the mirror. Ugh! Perhaps the most disturbing thing I noticed was the blue veins stretching across my chest. The longer I looked, the bluer they seemed, and me as well. I shuddered at the thought that I was looking at the road map of my mortality.
Look, I know I’m not going to live forever, but I’m still trying to deal with the fact that I am a 21 year old, in a middle aged body. It is funny that, when I have my glasses on, that the world still looks the same as it ever did, and from the vantage point of looking outward I still believe that I am the young guy I remember. There are times when I feel like a young traveler in an old car. I believe I can still drive fast, but the Edsel just has too many miles on it.
A camera or video has the same effect as the mirror. I never really knew I had gray hair until I saw a video of myself. At first I thought it was the sun glistening of my clean thick hair, until someone pointed out it was raining. How did that happen? Was the change so gradual that I didn’t notice my hair going from brown to silver? Or did my mind, trying to protect my ego, hide the evidence of my demise in plain sight?
How is it fair that as we grow older everything gets tighter except our bodies? My pants are tight, my shirts are tight and my dress shirts seem to have shrunk in the wash as well. Yet my skin suit sags in almost unnatural ways. I had for the longest time believed that the Chinese were purposely making our clothes smaller and shorter each year. Perhaps not, however I do have some issues with the sizing of clothes in say, Sam’s Club.
Is it natural that my boobs now would have turned me on when I was sixteen? I don’t think so. Sure I could exercise, but personally I think that is overrated. Besides with this body there is no way I’m going into a gym. Hell, I’d have to work out for a year before I could even consider entering a “fitness club.”
Sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah, sagging. It might be better for my self-esteem to embrace the changes in my body. The younger generation has to buy their pants two or three sizes too big to sag, I now do this naturally. I am now just as cool as today’s teens by leaving my shirt untucked, granted theirs’ represents protest, mine comfort, but we are united in look. In some cases we even have the same strut, although mine mostly has to do with aching joints and poor balance.
There is no shame in growing old, in fact, the alternative makes growing older a positive experience. My one fear is that as we age our ears and noses continue to grow, while other parts of our bodies begin to fail. It is hard to believe we enter the world small, delicate, and we leave looking like Dumbo.