Sunday, October 27, 2013

Someday, I Will Be 83

Someday, I will be 83.

I'll have more years behind me than years ahead of me.


My hair will likely be a different color.

A color that says, "I'm obviously not 22, but I'm not dead yet either."


My skin will hang a little lower to the ground.

As it tends to with decades of gravity's pull.


My eyes may appear tired. Or fully alive.

Depending on the words you choose to use.


My body may be rounder. And maybe a little softer.

Because that's the only way to survive the world anyway. Being softer.


I'll look different on the outside, but I'll still be the same me on the inside:




insecure and confident

fragile and tough

usually all at the same time.


At 83, I will still be that girl who played basketball with the best of 'em, shook her bum to Zumba, indulged in the pleasures of life, ran naked through the sprinklers, had a career, a marriage, and a life full of every good thing.


At 83, I will still be that girl who battled a mental illness with every fiber of her body and won, who cried when she felt ashamed, fought the good feminist fight, traveled the world, and got into riled debates about politics and religion and poverty and how to live in the world.


But most everyone who knew me as that girl will be gone. Dead. Deceased.

And it will be hard to convince people that I ever lived at all.


My Facebook friends will have diminished from 800-something to 200-something.

The cycle of life won't surprise me nearly as much as it did before.

But it will still break my heart.


My photographs will be unprinted files on a computer hard drive somewhere.

And they'll probably be in some format that makes them "no longer supported by this device".

Or any device. Sucker.



At 83, my memories may be disappearing slowly, but they'll still be in there somewhere.

And that doesn't mean they didn't happen.


That doesn't mean I didn't matter.



And a twenty-something girl will look at me with palpable pity and think, "What a simple soul. If only she understood the world I live in now."

And I will look at her with longing and think, "What a simple soul. If only she understood the life I've lived and how much I want her to know about it."


And young people will come visit me and talk to me about the weather.

To be kind. To humor the old woman: "because she just loves chatting and playing 'Angry Birds' on her iPhone, just like the olden days." Eye roll.

And they'll say, "I can tell you were beautiful when you were younger."

And I'll say, "It breaks my heart that you can't see how beautiful I am now."