Thursday, July 27, 2017


Sometimes getting older feels like a complimentary crash course in things you never wanted to understand. What it’s like to become seemingly blurrier to other people as a woman. How it feels to have losses accumulate at a higher and higher rate, like contractions before a birth. How you were wrong all of the times you clucked over other people’s misfortunes while vaguely assuming no such thing would ever happen to you—after all, you’re different. Special. Until you’re not.

Slowly at first, and then with alarming speed, you acquire the same wrinkles, the same sags, the same blue veins as every other old person you have looked at without focusing in enough to recognize your own reflection. You inherit some of the same sad stories, too. You let go of trivial worries, because now there are heavier ones to carry. Loves you once thought were fortresses turn out to be not so impenetrable. All of the mental safeguards that you constructed, all of the little protections for yourself that you carefully laid in over time, like tissue paper in a box, fail to prevent things from shattering. Again.

To top it all off, this is the best-case scenario.

Then again, you find yourself just slightly less prone to repeating old mistakes. That's one blessing. In spite of your best efforts, you have indeed learned a few things—some of those crash courses proved useful. Even if other people don't notice you so much, you're better at noticing yourself (though it's easier after you put your glasses on). You realize what's broken can come to seem beautiful. And when you look back, you see that every time you thought you might be done in, it was just another contraction. This time, when you get the wake-up call, you actually wake up. You understand that you’re not finished. Not quite yet.

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