Aug 23, 2012

If I Ever Reach Eighty...

When I was younger, there were times when I would cringe whenever I picture myself being ‘old’. I’m wondering what it would be like to wear eye glasses and to drag a cane. I wonder what I would be without my teeth and without my energy. And what would happen to my skin and hair?

Way back in college, while I was cutting out pictures from a random magazine, I accidentally found an alphabetical list of phobias. I got curious so I read the whole list. I don’t remember everything, but, there was something from the list that got stuck in my mind. ‘Gerascophobia’ (also called Gerontophobia)– fear of being old.

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as ‘fear of being old’. But that explains my paranoia. It bothered me a lot. Now that my ‘fear’ has a name, I got even more scared. I’m scared that I would be so dependent, weak and needy. I don’t want to be a nuisance. I don’t want people to hate me because they have to ‘take care’ of me. I’ve seen a lot of old people being sent to ‘home for the aged’, in real life and on TV. I’m not sure if I want to end up in that kind of place one day.

A lot of people say I don’t look my age. That’s probably because I’m too small. A random person would think I’m 13. 

Sometimes I think it’s cool looking a decade younger, sometimes it’s not. People tend to underestimate me and brush off my opinion and ideas just because they think I’m young or at least I look young. It’s like my word doesn’t count and I’m not to be taken seriously.

I accept that I can be stupid at times, but I think I’m wiser than my old self. I don’t have it all figured out, but one day I will. I know that much.

Right now, I’m in a point in my life wherein I have to constantly convince myself I would be ‘someone’ someday. I don’t know who would I be 57 years from now, but I hope I’ve already found my place in this world by that time. Struggling with my present is slowly taking away my fear of the future. I’m starting to accept that one day, I’ll grow old. I’ll lose my teeth and my skin will sag. I might not be able to walk and talk properly and my memory could get worse, but I hope I’m a hundred times better than who I am right now. Hopefully when I’m 80, I’ll have the freedom and respect that I rarely get at this age. I hope what I say would matter and that people would finally listen to me. I hope I won’t hear the words ‘Seriously, dude?’ anymore. I want to be more confident. I don’t want to be a disappointment to anyone. I want to look back without regrets, not to look forward and hope I could do better…just like what I’m doing now.

If I ever reach eighty, I want to read this article to myself, I don’t want to write another one that I could read in the future.

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