Yesterday I got haircut; the brindled hair fell into my lap. It made quite a contrast to the maroon smock. While the gray follicles fell I looked into the mirror at my fallow cheeks and baggy eyelids. I am no longer the youth who once upon a time not too long ago imagined anything was possible. My body is stiff; I ache more often than not. I am old.
Wasn’t it only yesterday I was thirty years old and fresh out of residency? I’ve been nearly ten years at my current post and over twenty years in my profession. At times I feel an impostor. I want to tell people I am really a youth without wisdom. I want to fall in love with the wrong 20-something and be watched, out-maneuvered, rescued even. Instead, I eat my oatmeal, take my medicines, and go to bed early.
Mind! I am grateful for having achieved this stage. I know many people – deceased – who would have given anything to have reached 50. I am not kvetching; I am expressing the bittersweet mixed feelings of having reached the age of wondering how the hell did I get to the time of life when the night is for sleeping.
So many doors feel closed when you are old. James Joyce wrote:
“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age”.
Is this preferable to going slowly into the sunset diminished in abilities and dwindling autonomy?
Meanwhile I go forward as this is the only direction to do. My haircut looks good albeit despite the gray highlights. Tomorrow I will have another predictable week without fanfare or variation from the previous ones. But it will have meaning. I will do some stretches and see the doctor for my quarterly labs. Life goes on. It is not bold, passionate, or bold, but it is. Maybe if there is time and we are not too tired, Someone and I might have a moment of intimacy, who knows when was the last.
I look forward to my next haircut when another pile of locks will accumulate in my lap, a bit grayer and thinner, but still growing.