I’m getting to be of a certain age and in all honesty, I like getting older. I cannot wait until I’m really old for 2 reasons:
1) I can say whatever is on my mind without fear and people can’t be mad at me because I’ll be old.
2) I am definitely going to be that old man sitting on the porch that all the neighbourhood kids whisper about. “That’s cranky old man Borile,” they’ll say. And whenever they’re playing on the street and their iBaseball lands in my yard, I will pick it up, shake my fist at them and say, “I KEEP THIS! I KEEP THIS!”
It’s also really nice because I find myself not giving a shit about the small things – at least not as much as I used to. There are two things that spring to mind:
I’ve always worked in some sort of field – theatre, entertainment, dance, and fitness – where there is a massive importance placed in how you look. Add that to the fact that a vain Filipino mother raised me and you have yourself a disastrous recipe for a really messed up psyche, where body image is concerned. I used to be overweight and I was unhappy. I used to be really skinny and I was unhappy. I was muscular, I was flabby, I had no ass, I had a great ass, etc and etc and etc. And every single step of the way, there was always some damn fool who thought that how I looked was any of their business.
“You looked so good when you were more muscular”
“I liked you better when you were skinny”
“If only you gained/lost/maintained your weight/shape/mass/ass”
It drove me crazy and I had to learn to give myself permission to be whoever I’m going to be at any point in time. Sometimes my belly will look like a pregnant hippo’s. Sometimes, my biceps are going to look like anacondas that just swallowed a baby. Even though I still regret eating that plate of nachos whenever Usher instagrams a shirtless picture of himself, I’ve learned to be more comfortable with whatever my body has to go through. None of that will change the caring, funny, cheeky, hood rat that I am.
I’m currently in a relationship (aw…) and things are GOOD! Part of the reason is because I walked into it feeling like a whole person and I’m not clinging to someone else for fulfillment. With all due respect to my boo (and I’ve said this to him out loud, so I don’t feel bad sharing it with you all), I feel like if things go south and the relationship ends, I know that I’ll be okay. I’ve picked up the pieces; I have made it through the rain and all that Mariah Carey crap.
I like that we have a healthy respect for each other’s personal growth. He takes cooking lessons, and I get drunk with my homegirls. He learns a new language, and I get drunk with my homeboys. He picks up a new fitness regiment, and I get drunk in the living room and yell at the TV while watching re-runs of Dawson’s Creek.
One time, as we were having a lazy morning, and luxuriating in the living room, a song came on the radio and I noticed a change in him. All of a sudden he became still, quiet, distant, and completely lost in his own world. I have no idea what he was thinking about and it reminded me that this guy has lived a full life without me. At one point in time, this would have freaked me out (WHY ARE YOU QUIET? WHO ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?! IS HE PRETTIER THAN ME?!? I KILL YOU, SCUM!). But these days, I like that he’s a whole person. I like that he’s complete because everything we do together feels purposeful and more valuable.
Anyway, getting older rocks, however let’s re-visit this topic when my kneecaps start filling up with liquid whenever I bend down. But really, as long as I can keep dancing around for a bit and as long as I can eat cheesecake on the lanai, I will be very content.