When you’re twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re forty are you entirely sure. By the time you’re sixty, take it from me, you’re…lost. —Stephen King
If at some point we all succumb For goodness sake, let us be young. 'Cause time gets harder to outrun, And I'm nobody, I'm not done. With a cool, cool breeze and dirty knees, I rest on childhood memories. We all got old at breakneck speed, Slow it down, go easy on me.
Picture this. Ten years from now, you’re sitting in a big house, all white picket fence and porch swings. Ten years ago you swore you’d be living in a big city with her by your side but something happened along the way and you watched as those plans disintegrated in the palms of your hands. You watch the sunrise and you watch the sunset and you wonder if she’s somewhere on the other side of the planet like she promised. “I gotta get out of here,” she said, “it doesn’t matter how I do it or where I go, I’m getting out.” Picture this. Twenty years from now, you find your first grey hair. You dutifully have that middle aged panic attack that everyone seems obliged to have and you screw up your eyes and pull it out. Your life is pretty steady now: good, calm, like you’ve finally figured things out. “I’m getting old,” you grumble. And somewhere, at the back of your mind, you wonder if she’s getting old too. Picture this. Fifty years from now your hair is like snow (if you have any, that is). Your walking stick is your new best friend and memories seem to flit in and out of your head like clouds in the sky. Most days you can’t remember what you had for breakfast or what you’ll have for tea, and some days it’s beginning to hurt to breathe. It’s on these occasions, when your chest is heavy and you have to sit down, that you remember her. You think how true it is that you don’t forget the people you loved when you were young. You may not remember yesterday’s weather but you remember the fifty year old summer breeze and complaining about her hair in your face. “I wonder if she’s happy,” you say, and people mistake it for mindless rambling. “I hope she found what she was looking for.”
I don't want to get old. I don't want to live to see myself slowly lose all of the opportunities and experiences that being young allows me to take advantage of. I see old people: alone, wrinkly, and sad; I just don't want to have to go through that.
The thing is, I've always been able to think, Oh, I don't have to worry about that. It'll fix itself once I get older. But I've come to realize that getting older isn't the key. You don't magically wake up five years older and wiser and suddenly not have any problems. You don't notice yourself aging, just like you don't notice your probelms going away. Because they're not going away. The older I get, the worse my problems get. They're not getting any better, and I guess I need to accept that my problems aren't going to solve themselves. Getting older doesn't make everything go away, it just makes everything worse.