Tags: aging, facebook, healthy, instagram, McDonald's, old photos
In recent weeks, I have been actively involved in throwback Thursdays on Instagram. This comes as no surprise to my friends who might remember the old photos I started posting on Facebook five years ago, as I always had a camera on me as a youngin’ (some things never change). It appears that my inherent need and desire to document life comes in many forms and has become a constant in my life for a long time.
And what’s really interesting about looking back at old photos is seeing how much we have grown. I’ve had many people say to me recently that I look the same as I did in high school, some saying I look better now. When I look back at these photos, I see lots of bad phases, some awkwardness as I grew into my body, and some periods where I had things going just right. Sometimes, I looked really young, and boy was I skinny!
Overall, I think I have been aging pretty well. In many ways, I have to agree that I don’t look all that different from when I was a senior in high school. There are small changes — gray hairs sprouting, the beginnings of creases in my face — little things that freak you out when you look in the mirror, but are to be expected.
I consider myself pretty lucky that I haven’t fallen off the deep end, but it takes hard work to ensure a graceful aging process, and it takes knowledge. What can I expect to happen to my body as I get older? I can already feel how foods affect me differently now than they did when I was young. McDonald’s sounds like a good idea at the time, but now I immediately regret it after I eat it. My body is less forgiving in many ways, so I need to think twice to make sure I care for it.
Bottom line — you can’t wait until you are old to start doing good for your body. I am in a constant battle between enjoying all of the deliciousness this world has to offer and in making healthy choices. I’ll do really well for a week, and then allow myself to cheat. This cycle has been working for now, but I know at some point I’ll have to tip the scale towards the healthy side more often.
But I’ll probably always sneak a piece of chocolate. Old habits die hard.
Tags: 20-something, 30, aging, early 20s
A few weeks ago I was in a club watching some live music with some friends. At the end of the show, my friends and I decided to hang out and get a couple more drinks. As we were shooting the shit the way we always do, we made some comments about the age group we were surrounded by. It was the 20-something crowd, but it was the early 20-something crowd — which in the eyes of a late 20s crew, is a totally different animal, but not far away enough for us not to remember and reminisce about the glory of that time in your lives. The grass, of course, is always greener on the other side.
So when someone we were with, who happens to be a member of this young group, became offended by our reminiscing and commenting on that age group, I found myself and my friends in a difficult conversation that wasn’t going to lead to any kind of resolution. Because I know how she felt, but she couldn’t possibly understand where we were coming from, because she just wasn’t there yet. Still, she felt the need to prove that she could hang, that we were somehow wrong, that we weren’t old.
But that wasn’t the point. It wasn’t about her and it wasn’t even about us being “old.” It was just an observation about the change that takes place, that you can’t see until you’ve gone through it, no matter what difficult times you’ve had in your life and no matter how many older people you hang out with. It is easy to seen now the girls dancing with their boys for the night with their asses hanging out, and the girls dancing on stage vying for the attention of sleazy boys. I’m still of the age where I really enjoy a good night out, occasionally dancing on stage and the such, but then there are nights like this one in particular when I’m out with my friends and completely content dancing next to the bar while enjoying some good conversation and beverages.
I remember going to the club with a huge crew when I was young. I remember having a stationery spot by the bar where we could always find each other. I remember grabbing my drinks there and then going off to see what else was going on in the club. We always had each other’s backs, saving each other from dancing with someone we didn’t want to, but we were fine going off on our own and coming back together later on. But now, when I go out, it’s different. I am not out trying to meet people. I’m out to enjoy the company of the people I am with.
It’s not about feeling young. I still get into trouble and get crazy just as I did when I was young. It’s just interesting to see how things change.
But a young 20-something wouldn’t understand. She’ll have to wait until she’s older.
Tags: aging, eternal youth, Snow White
This past weekend I saw Snow White and the Huntsman, a fantastical adaptation of the old children’s fairy tale. But this movie was not made for children. It was made for those of us who have seen the darkness of the world and long for the innocence Snow White represents.
And that is the reason why it is so hard not to sympathize with the queen. Who among us hasn’t looked into the mirror and wondered where the beauty of our youth has gone? Who among us doesn’t long for the light of wonder that comes with innocence, the energy of a life not yet lived? What remains, it seems at times, is exhaustion, responsibility, nostalgia, and humility, for now we know what life is, and how exciting youth is. We will spend the rest of our lives trying to relive it in a way. But it will never be the same. It is true, the saying that youth is wasted on the young.
I know that this may sound ridiculous to my elders who will remind me time and time again that I am still young, and I know that I’m still young. I am happy to be at an age where, while I do have responsibilities, while I may not be as flexible as I was in my youth, I can find the means to enjoy life, and recognize the great moments as I am living them. But with each great moment, I can feel time slipping away. Because time just doesn’t ever stop, and the great moments always seem to end too soon.
But we can’t walk around longing for the days of yesteryear all the time. We need to have good memories and be excited for the future. We need to be able to look in the mirror and recognize those laugh lines as a life well lived, those bags under the eyes as the remnance of lot of fun late nights. Because life is magical in its own way, even if there isn’t a real fountain of youth.