Is This Growing Old?

“When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. 
Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney ended. How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table. I spent my life learning to feel less. Every day I felt less. Is that growing old? Or is it something worse? You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

You ever look at yourself in the mirror and have one of those really introspective movie-esque moments? You know the ones I mean, where time stops and you’re suddenly no longer looking at your reflection – you’re looking at what you’ve become. Quickly, you realize you’re either really pleased with who you are at the moment or you’re utterly disgusted at your unrecognizable self. Of course there are in-between layers; layers comprised of complacency, apathy, and mild repulsion but regardless of the feeling and where it lies on the scale, that moment of self-realization is always enlightening.

I had my own moment recently. It caught me by surprise, abruptly and unsolicited. I found myself looking at my life under a scope I’d never visited. Who is this person I am meeting for, what feels like, the first time? Would I want to be friends with her? She’s certainly not like what I thought she’d be but then, I wonder, what did I think she’d be like? What were my expectations of her? Am I disappointed in her or merely just surprised by her actions?

After pushing away most of the questions that seemed to have no finite answers, I came to the conclusion that I am proud of that girl that I met. The “me” that I am. I am someone who no longer lets her hurt define her, someone who tries new things, and someone who isn’t afraid of treading a little water. It is despite all my new badges of wisdom and growth that I see my old ones holding tight, slightly frayed and faded, but nonetheless there. I still find myself overwhelmed fairly easily, being incredibly too awkward when I need not be, and too clumsy for my own good. It seems that despite life’s many adventures, there are just some tricks you can never teach to old dogs.

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