Lim: Another wild ride

·3 min read

How does it feel to grow old? Some days, it feels like a blessing. And some days, it feels like a curse.

Some days, I look at the image in the mirror and wonder how it all happened with such blinding speed that until today, I haven’t recovered. How could everything go south at the speed of light? And yet, that’s not all that happened.

I always thought I’d age gracefully. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. I know now that while I’m going to fight tooth and nail to stay alive, healthy and well which means happily growing old, with everything I’ve got, I am not going to go with the flow, looking old.

Call me shallow. But I cannot lie and say I have the confidence to grow old, ditching hair dye, skincare and doing absolutely nothing about my belly bloat.

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to grow old. My father’s scoffs and side eyes are now justified. Because now that I am old, my feet suddenly feel cold. It’s not that I don’t want to grow old or older. Because the alternatives are dying now or dying sooner than later.

But growing old has turned out to be harder than I thought. Nature seems to be pissed with me. Nothing is going as planned. Will I live happily?

I’m not going to lie. I miss my youth. Every time I look in the mirror. Every time I huff and puff and wish I could be stronger, faster, fitter. Every time I eat cake, chocolate or ice cream and decry the injustice of the speed with which it takes up residence in my belly.

I’m not going to lie. I feel my age. Every time I walk into a room and wonder why I’m there. Every time something mysteriously disappears right before my eyes then magically reappears seconds later. Every time I want to say something but can’t remember.

I’m not going to lie. I get scared. Every time I feel like it’s just going to go downhill from here. Every time I think my body is forever gone and my mind is following suit soon. Every time I imagine that one day, I won’t remember any of these.

But some days, I marvel at how my mind and body can heal and recover from illness and infirmity and I feel nothing but gratitude.

I’m not going to lie. Age is not just a number. But life is what you make it. And whatever the number, I resolve my epitaph will read: no regrets. I will live happily despite what happens after.

If you think about everything you’ve lost, growing old can seem like a curse. But if you think about everything you still have, growing old, you will realize, is a blessing that must be cherished because it is not granted to everybody.

You know what it’s like to want something but also fear it? That’s what growing old feels like for me. Like falling in love, jumping off a cliff, diving into the deep, blue sea. It’s like going on another wild ride.

So, I will take a deep breath and just go for it.

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