On Getting Older

These words were found on Twitter and brought to my attention by a dear friend. It was written by Gennifer Hutchison, who was a writer for Breaking Bad. It resonated with me and maybe it will resonate with you, too. Here it goes…

(photo by Mircea Iancu)

“Here’s a thread of some stuff that happens as you get older that folks don’t really talk about…

One day you will notice your friends are aging. It’s not bad, but it is a transition. Your friends will age at different rates. Sometimes their kids will look exactly like they did when you met them. This will make your heart ache in a lovely way. They see the same in you.

You will go to concerts of bands you loved in high school and college – controversial, youth-oriented, angsts, anti-establishment bands – and everyone there will be old.

You will likely look at photos of young you and marvel at how luminously beautiful you were and remember that when that picture was taken, you hated how you looked more than anything else in the world.

Teenagers will no longer see you.

One day, you’ll realize that you haven’t shopped in/on a particular clothing store or site that you love and you’ll wander over to it and every item of clothing will suddenly seem completely foreign and perplexing in style…

Your friends will remember completely different things from when you were kids that you don’t remember at all, and vice versa. Some of the stories won’t even sound like you. Because you’ve forgotten a bit of who you were then. This may be unsettling…

Some of your friends (or you) will have a legit mid-life crisis and you will see it happen in real time. And you will marvel that mid-life crises are real things that happen. And that friend will want to talk about their running/new car/affair and you’ll be so bored.

You will likely be lucky enough to really know yourself now. To love the things about you that you hated for so long. You will still have problems, but you will have a better understanding of your core values and how to deal with them.

Longtime friendships will often reach a level of comfort and understanding that you never expected or even thought to imagine. Other friendships may fade, but it’ll be okay. You may make new friendships, which will be liberating. They only know current you.

Younger folks may ask you for advice. And you have some! But it’ll feel weird because it reminds you when you felt that problem was insurmountable. You’ll want to tell them everything will be okay but realize they have to learn that themselves. (You tell them anyway.)

You may physically not be able to do a thing you used to and loved to do, or it will become much more difficult. This will rock you to your core. It’ll feel like the death of a part of you. A core thing that made you, you. This will hopefully pass, but it’ll ache.

When you talk about aging to an older person, they will likely tell you to “just wait…”. And this may scare you. Or it may make that youthful contrariness spark. But they’re usually right and you’ll say something similar when you reach that age.

One day, you’ll get in your feelings and wax rhapsodic about the beautiful pain of growing older to a bunch of strangers on the internet. I mean, maybe. Hypothetically speaking. “


4 thoughts on “On Getting Older

  1. Love the picture! I showed this to Kate, who is always bemoaning the fact that she isn’t a certain age any more.

  2. The horror is looking at my 98 year old mother and realizing, that is me. In 28 years, that is me sitting in the dining room of the old folks home, bitching about all these old cockers I have to look at. My mom often says, in a voice loud enough for even the hard of hearing, “Look at what I have to look at.” as she points to the younger old folks around her. Yep, that’ll be me.

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