Something that I never understood was how fearsome people became whenever the idea of aging was brought up. Friends, family, and strangers alike cringe at hearing their age and freak out at the sight of grey hairs and laugh lines. It’s actually kind of funny how even people my own age complain about being “old” now.
If anything, I always liked the idea of getting older. As a kid I wanted to be a teenager; and as a teenager, I wanted to be an adult—speeding up the process has just always seemed appealing to me. It might be just because I’m a really impatient person, or because I’m never satisfied with where I am in life, but again doesn’t seem as scary to me as it does to what seems like everybody else.
At this point in my life, I’m still basically a spring chicken. I joke all the time about how I’m practically a baby. (A 22-year-old baby. Pretty big baby, am I right?)
I have my whole life ahead of me. Sure, I should be seizing the day, and living like there’s no tomorrow, but I honestly feel like I’m good for now. I feel pretty confident in saying that I’m going to be here a while. I’m not afraid of the future. If anything, I welcome it.
Sure, I fear what will come of it. But the idea of growing old and eventually dying don’t scare me in the slightest.
I grew up with two beautiful, strong grandmothers. They are leading ladies in the musical that is my life, and I couldn’t imagine a world where they don’t exist.
When Nan died back in 2013, I was completely heartbroken for months on end, but I put myself back together, piece by piece, and continued my life, without her physically being there. I learned to embrace her spirit, instead of wallowing in the absence of her body.
Although she isn’t here to give me advice and slap some sense into me, that doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to her in my alone time. She’s still a big contributor of the person I am today, and the person I will be ten years from now, and had I lived my childhood and teenaged years without her, I wouldn’t have had such a powerful female role model in my life.
And as for Oma, who I am still lucky enough to have in my life, I have absolutely no idea what kind of person I would be if our paths had never met. She’s probably raised me more than my own parents have (and that’s saying a lot, since they’re actually good parents), and has always been the first person I’d go to for anything. My relationship with her has always felt like one of a kind, although I would compare ours to my cousin, Rebecca’s, relationship with my Nan.
I say that because it was obvious she was undeniably Nan’s favorite grandchild. (Yep, there’s always a favorite; I 100% believe that everyone always has a favorite, no matter how much people deny it. Just own up to it!)
Growing old, from my perspective, only meant that you were growing your life. The older you got, the more you’ve lived, and the more you knew. You made and deepened relationships, and made yourself a family and a legacy.
My own grandmothers are the most influential people that I have ever known, and I would want for my own future grandchildren to feel that way about me. So getting old doesn’t scare me; it excites me. If I live to be seventy years old, I’d be okay with that, and I would also be okay with living until I’m ninety years old.
Bring on the greys and the laugh lines. I want it all, and I want to make Nan and Oma proud—but I will gladly take my time getting there.