Today I turn 32 years old and I don’t feel a day over 16, except every part of my body moves a little slower and aches a bit more than it used to.
A month ago I took a hard fall sledding and it was the first time I ever remember taking a fall and getting up and being like, “Damn. That’s a new sensation. Is this what getting older feels like? I need a sit down.”
Aging is such an interesting thing to me. Mentally we feel like we’ll live forever and that we’re still in our teens, but physically our bodies are creeping forward and no amount of Olay Anti-Aging Skincare will stop that. One day, if we’re lucky enough to live so long, we’ll all look in the mirror and wonder who that is looking back at us because our mental image of ourselves doesn’t match the physical reality that we are getting older.
My kid brother was terrified of growing old. Terrified. Mainly because he was afraid of losing his mental aptitude and wits. The irony that he died young due to the poor judgement of an elderly man will always hang over my family.
Unlike my brother, I’ve never been afraid of growing up, but I will tell you it’s not at all what I expected as a kid. There’s responsibilities and tough decisions and heartache, but also so much joy! I have two kids and still feel like I’m nowhere near mature enough to have even one, but here I am….adulting and stuff.
I guess I’m just thankful to have lived these 32 awesome years and count myself an extremely blessed man both in family and friends. So, thanks to you all for the gift of your friendship and time and love. It means more than you know and I love you all.
And now if you’ll humor this old man, I’d like to impart some wisdom I’ve gleaned from living these 32 long years.
First, always try and be brave. Stand up for yourself and your loved ones and meet adversity and heartache head on or it will consume you and control you.
Second, choose to be happy. Don’t let your life be consumed with worry, strife, resentment or anger. Release old hatreds and bitterness and live for today and the hope of a new tomorrow. There’s far too much beauty and love in the world to let your potential happiness be ruined by trivial and temporary things. This life is short. Be happy!
Finally, never ever apologize for being yourself.
And now a haiku by yours truly:
Growing Older by Nathan Pratt
I’m getting older
Of this I am most certain
Fuck off senility!