Last night I played softball for the first time in several years. It wasn’t pretty. And a friend who’s only slightly older than me went down hard with a pulled hamstring. I was not so unfortunate, although my hamstrings are screaming at me today. Which reminds me, who decided to call them hamstrings? I always picture a bunch of pigs playing stringed instruments when I hear that word—like a piggy string ensemble.
Today I had to take several headshots for some upcoming events. When I had the chance to review them, I was not pleased. I looked old and chubby. What happened to you, 19-year-old-me? When did these wrinkles around my eyes become so pronounced? When did my gut start poking out? When did hair start growing out of my ears and nose at a breakneck speed? When did I start grunting every time I stand up?
When did YOU become ME?
Last week I started performing interviews for an assistant. When did I become a professional, conducting interviews and searching for assistants? When did life creep up on me? When did I cross the line from boydom to manhood? It all apparently happened while I was sleeping, unbeknownst to me.
I thought I was still you, 19-year-old-me. But I’m not you anymore. Now I’m me. And I really, really, miss you. I miss your smooth, unwrinkled face and fluid joints. I miss your ability to eat everything and not gain a pound. I miss your hairless nose and ears. Makes me wonder what else happened while I was sleeping. Have I shrunk a couple inches? Did my IQ drop? If so, HOW WOULD I EVER KNOW?!?!?!? Have my fingernails stopped growing? Do I no longer love duck-billed platypuses? (We can safely rule that one out. I still love them.) This whole aging thing is scary.
So, how does one age gracefully? Seems like it’s an impossibility to me. An improbable equation. I will most definitely not be aging gracefully, but maybe you can. I will go down into the annals of life kicking and screaming. Of course, it probably won’t last long because I’m sure as I kick I will pull a hamstring while an ensemble of pigs plays Beethoven in the background. But I won’t be able to hear them. My hearing will be gone by then.