The Year I Got Old, it was 2014. That number still sounds to me like it's light years into the future, but in fact it’s somehow the year that is going to be over in three months.
I have a feeling I'm going to use the word "obviously" a lot here, because, well, I'm pretty embarrassed about how obvious it all is, and how I didn't see it or believe it was really going to happen. When I say I Got Old, obviously I don’t mean my physical age…as Aaliyah knew, this is nothing but a number, and as someone else not Aaliyah knows/says…the numbers don’t lie.
Except that this is one number that always did seem to lie. These horrible clichés that some obviously old people came up with like “youth is wasted on the young” (of course an old person came up with this, b/c young people generally don’t think about old people except when their grandparents visit or die, or to exasperatedly sigh at them in traffic or in the grocery store), or “hindsight is 20/20” (same as above: it’s only old people that really understand that twist on regret. I don’t mean regret like not studying for a math test hard enough or not swinging at the right pitch during the big game or having a couple of beers too many before that concert; I mean regret like continuing to make the same mistakes for years and years and years. There’s no other way to really “get” that than to do it.
And to finish this unpunctuatably parenthetical mess: old people also know that eventually your vision literally does become a medically detectable failure, and that often this is one of the first and most banal of many unavoidable confrontations with the failing body, there, OK, close parenthesis)…
Finally picking up the beginning of this sentence again: these horrible clichés about aging are so old and boring and so true that even their explanations are clichés. The very act of suddenly being old enough to believe these clichés to be true is itself a cliché, as is the act of trying to explain that. I just never, ever thought any of it would happen to me. Which is a cliché, I know.
I’ve been feeling like this for well, at least a couple of months and trying to think about how to write about it without being totally hopeless AND boring, which is possibly the worst combo there is, and then I realized that the only way I’d know if there was a way to write about it was to start writing and to think of the whole business as "resetting my perspective". Hopefully this entry is as cliché as it gets.
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