Growing up is a normal fear, I’d say. Youth is fleeting and, as we realize it’s slipping from us, we have a right to freak out. It isn’t a quarter-life crisis thing either. It happens every so often as stages of life evolve.
When you’re in grade school, you are so scared of high school. Changing classrooms, having more than one teacher, remembering your locker combination. That’s heavy stuff after being on a colorful circle rug next to your bestie for 5 years.
Once high school has been survived, comes college. You move away from home, you meet all new people, you’re pressured into choosing a life path for, you guessed it, life. How are you supposed to react to that when you’re only a teenager?
Post-grad life either leads to more school and more debt or the mythical “real world” that, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t have a room where you talk to into a camera. You were groomed for this adulting thing since your aunt gave you a babydoll that actually peed.
But real world and adulting and grown up stuff isn’t anything like playing with toys. Yes, we have our techy gadgets that you could say are toys but they come with work emails and conference calls and constant beeping. They may not be scary but they certainly aren’t always pleasant. Coinciding with these job struggles is another human you’re thinking about tying down, it’s parents breathing down your neck about grandkids, it’s a lot of balancing between being someone’s baby and raising your own baby.
And once the career path and/or parenting plans have been nailed down, so begins the last stage of life. The one I’m actually most scared about, the one labeled “old age”.
With old age comes a lot of scary stuff!
- Greying hair
- Less limber movements
- Walking slower
- Forgetting things
- Gravity working against you
- All those laugh lines start to set in
- Getting sick easier
- Not being savvy with the times
- Falling down and having irreparable damage
- Did I mention moving slower?
This all sounds so superficial, I know. In this society though, these things that happen with old age sadly do mean you’re not treated quite the same; the value is placed on youth and beauty so as those go so does a lot else. But it is more than that. It all means the end is approaching. It means that your best days are quite possibly behind you. It means you’re no longer able to adventure on a whim anymore. It means what’s done is done and there is no changing it.
The fear of getting old stems from the fear that’s happening right now. These fears are rooted in not having enough time or money to do everything I want and in working more than playing and making sure I do healthy things now to help myself age. Fear is about uncertainty, not knowing and not understanding, what could be in the cards.
I’m scared of being left in the dust and of having kids roll their eyes at me and not being understood or being able to understand. What if I’m left alone or I get really sick or I fall and no one is there?
My fears are about no longer being independent.
I don’t want to be left behind by those I love as I become more dependent; I hate being a burden more than anything. I want to amount to something and have people want to stay around me even as an old lady.
But I guess all I can do, all any of us can do, for now, is live for today and grab our youth by the horns. Live the best life now before it all changes on us.
Feature Image via Pexels