The Mind's I


How do you feel about getting older? When was the first time you knew you were going to get old? What do you most fear about the aging process?

Good answer!

Here are some quotes that other On Displayers have made about aging that I found interesting.

It catches me in the small moments. --Tony

I am afraid I will age into oblivion... I hope aging will bring me to some answers, bring me some gentle peace, bring me something to quiet the persistent ticking of my life... --Heidi

Does memory start to crowd out the present? --Al

I hope that whatever illnesses, trials and tirbulations i come across i still manage to be happy. --Bronwyn

...these wrinkles are yet young. --Doug

Alas, the beautiful skin I had has already gone. I should never look at photos of myself at 16! I was such a babe, and I loathed myself. Aging is a good, GOOD thing. --Di

I'm afraid I'll wake up fifty years from now and suddenly realize I took a wrong turn so far back that there's no going back to try again. I'm afraid I'll run out of time. --Stacey

The process of gaining knowledge and experience *is* the process of being alive... --Noah

I'm a big fan of finding out What Happens Next, and I'm so psyched about the way the world has changed with home computers and the internet that I am eagerly anticipating the next evolution. --Ann

I don't know how to handle loss. --Rayne

I would never live it over again. --vj

I don't want to be left behind, waking up one day just to realize my life has passed me by and I did nothing of it. --Del

I spent 27 years doing nothing but reaching the point where I can replicate my genes and developing an obsession with a blonde haired pop singer's abdominals... --Paul

What I am scared of most is growing tired of life, of growing old inside. --Cameron

You may think you have a better handle on life (I have thought that many times) but life will throw you a curve ball if you begin feeling too comfortable. --rachel

How do you feel about getting older? Well, it's a lot better than the alternative... You have to get on with being old just as you should get on with being young. You only get one chance... I sometimes hear people say "I/you am/are young on the inside". Sorry, that's rubbish. My insides are just as old as the rest of me. The amount of gas I generate is testimony to that. --John

...the few people I've lost to death and disorders, that have touched my life, I know that my greatest fear is facing the loss I know I must. --Roxie

Iím not scared of getting old. Iíve come to decide that Ďoldí is a tag you put on yourself... When I finally accept Iím old, thatís the same to me as accepting my life is over. So I donít intend to be old for a long, long time. :) --Tobin

I don't fear the future so much anymore. I embrace each new year with an open mind, knowing that another year has passed to add to my life experience, like so many pages in a book that has yet to be bound. --tasha

i felt like i've started to lose the elasticity of youth. i'm starting to become rigid. i cant just push my teeth around anymore. --rebekah

I want to live my life...not let my life live me... The most inexpensive way to improve your looks is to smile ;) --Michele

Aging blows. I don't believe people 'age with grace', I think that's a statement we tell them because we aren't saying what we really think. --Darwin

Aging is a journey of self-knowledge...I know what I want to do in my life and every day I'm working to get it all done. And that's what matters. --Kevin

For the first time in my life I am making decisions that I can't take back. I am standing at a fork in the road and no matter which direction I walk I cannot go back and start over...I don't want to be a grown up that is so old. --Brittly

I just know I am going to end up one of those little old ladies who wears too much blush, and always wears kooky hats to church. --nicole

I remember one of my greatest fears on the eve of my thirteenth birthday...I knew, from that day on, I would no longer be allowed to order from the childrenís menu at restaurants. --Tao

Naive or not, I'm making the same choices now that everyone makes at twenty-one. And regret it or not, I will eventually get through and come out okay in the end way up ahead of me. I will have my husband Al and our dog Muffin and travel across the U.S., square dancing at truck stops on Saturday night. And it might not seem so silly then as it does now.
But I'll still be me.--Abbie

On Display
December 1998 Collaboration

I'm still very young (23) and I have very mixed feelings about getting older. I'm stuck in that awkward time (like puberty) where I'm happy/sad that I'm growing out of one stage in my life and happy/sad that I'm growing into a new stage. Being a reasonably recent college graduate (December 96, a semester early yay!), I feel sad that I've left my friends in college. Even when I graduated, I still lived in the same town working for the University for over a year, so I was still able to see friends and hangout like a college student. I was essentially a college student that worked instead of going to classes and got money doing something that I loved! The ideal job! Well, the money for my funding ran out and I needed to get "a real job"... which lead me out of Champaign-Urbana back to my childhood home in New Jersey in early 1998. Even growing up in Jersey, it was like a culture shock. I had become a midwesterner through-and-through and adjusting to city live and becoming a yuppie was frightening.

I felt almost like a fish out of water. I didn't know anyone (thankfully, my partner came with me to seek a 'new life' out here in the east coast, so I'm not completely lonely). Making new friends is emotionally draining for me when I know no-one. In college it was easy. I just needed to join the club of my choice and I could meet like-minded people starving for the same friendships. The city is different. Even my workplace wasn't what I had expected. I expected other nerds like myself. The geeks from ACM (Association for Computing Machinery, the largest computer-related student organization at the U). I was wrong. My coworkers are from different subcultures. They watch Ally McBeal and Melrose Place and talk about the Yankees. They went to bars and didn't tool with their computers after work. They are nice people.. some of them are great, but they aren't cut from the same cloth as the friends I had in college... and I have a hard time relating to them with the same intuitive way as my friends from school. I miss my friends from school and it's sad to see them scatter to the winds... and when I first came here, I felt a great deal of sadness.

This summer, I turned 23 and because 23 is my favorite number, I decided to really start exploring and "living" for the rest of my life. I've always been interested in body adornment like piercing and the last time I saw Tori (one of my best friends from college), the most prominent image was of her beautifully pierced ear. So, I decided to get my left ear double pierced. It was a liberating experience for me and very personally empowering. I felt beautiful after I was pierced. Ever since I was in elementary school, I sought the company of people online and I started immersing myself into the bodyart online culture. I became chatty on IRC again and I made quick friends in the subculture from NYC. I've never felt so good about getting older! I'm 23 and financially independent and I learned that instead of moping I should celebrate what I have and push it to the next stage of my life. I have the belief that everyone is like a beautiful thread. Sometimes the threads twist and twirl when we come together and become friends and share beautiful experiences... but sometimes those threads wander elsewhere and engage themselves in other knots. That's all part of life and we should cherish and celebrate those wonderful times instead of regretting the "future that is not to be".

Oh boy, Iko, you are really rambling. Back to the question...
So, I think you can see how I can be both happy and sad about getting older. I think people feel that way whenever you are going through transitions and major life changes: excited about entering a new stage in their life and yet frightened by it.

About knowing that I'm going to get old.. well, I know I'm getting older but I don't know if I will get old. My family has a history of illness and early deaths. When I was in junior high, I believed that it would be amazing if I hit 30. I still think it will be an accomplishment and it will be amazing if I hit 40. With that general outlook, I'm not sure if it will ever really hit me that "I'm going to get old". I have dreams and I've got hopes for my future, but they are all pretty short-term (5 years) goals. No long-term goals. Perhaps the first day that I make a long-term goal will be the first time that I will realize I will get old.

The thing I fear the most about the aging process is thinking about what illness will take me first. <grin> Doesn't that sound absolutely grim? It's not really meant to be. It's the honest truth. Will my arthritis make my life a daily hell? Will my heart give out? Will I go insane? (Some people would argue that I already am.. hmm..) I don't like taking medicine 'cause I believe that my future will be full of medication and the less I put into my system now will maybe give me a fighting chance in the future.

However, as best I can paraphrase Maude from the wonderful play of Harold and Maude, "That's all mindless speculation and not worth my stress." Something like that. I try not to let it worry me, even though I am a natural worry-wart (you should see me plan events). Aging is taking the knocks that life decks to you and learning how to deal with them in the right manner. Do I duck? Do I step back? Side step? Block? Nothing like growing older can teach one to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I am enjoying getting wiser and amassing experiences. Who wouldn't?

© Copyright 1998, Eileene Coscolluela