Is avoiding Germany. It's 10:30pm and it's not dark out yet. That is so not fair. I kicked the kid out to "go to bed" 'cause I had been hangin' out with him since 9am pretty much non-stop except when he made himself sparse while his mom and i were packing boxes...but yeah...now i wanna go outside and play. Stuttgart. Stuttgart. Must. Get. To. Stuttgart. There's actually things to do there. (c:
So here's something that's plagued me for years. Seriously. I have a strong aversion to old people. And I mean that in a few different ways. Mainly, people who have a mindset that for whatever reason, life is broken into segments-childhood, the good years and the dreaded rest.
Now then, keep in mind, this is in no direct reference to any of the people who read or who are part of this blogging community because you are all examples of really cool people who seem excited that tomorrow is another day, not concerned. (c:
That being said-people of all real ages can be old. You'll recognize it by the "well, when I was young I used to blah blah blah." Why'd they stop? Sometimes there are legit reasons but even things like injuries or a stressful job or whatever can be rehabilitated, worked around, changed, incorporated, something. Just because we hit a certain age doesn't mean we have to suddenly forget all the things that we were doing when we were X years old.
I remember a few months before I left for Europe Part 1 I thought I had really lost my wits...I couldn't think straight. At all. Short term memory was gone almost entirely, to the point where it was embarrassing. I couldn't remember what I was doing, why I was doing it, who I had talked to recently, you name it. I was living in a whole 'nother world. The worst part, I didn't know why. I had no idea if it was stress, hormones, whatever. For all I knew I had literally gone nuts. My cerebral cortex took a nap. And, I was all emotion. Think Phinaes Gage except I was missing the railroad tie. So I did what any normal human would do...I sucked it up, went to a doctor and told them what my problems were. I thought it was my thyroid or a severe hormonal imbalance due to something else or whatever...the doctor, a man of about 45, said to me "well, you are getting older..." Older? That's the reason my brain went to shit? because I turned 25? You've got to be kidding me....I can't imagine what he would tell a man who came in in his 50's or 60's complaining of a sore knee. Well, you know, you are going to die soon....heh.
I'm digressing a bit, but it remains that people have a preconceived notion of what is "supposed" to happen or not happen when they/others reach a certain age. I get that we aren't all Duracell Bunnies designed to live forever in perfect health. Fine. But there's certainly no reason that I can see to become so fixated on the idea of a number or whatever that we change our lives and our thinking.
Back to my digression-I decided after this laughable answer to go to a Neuro-Psych. Not cheap, them guys. But, I went, the day before I was scheduled to get on a plane and leave, to figure out if I was crazy or not. We talked. We did memory tests. I aced them. He told me to get on a plane and have a good time and not worry about it. I did. I still can't explain why what happened, happened, nor can I say that I feel like nothing ever happened at all...but I'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with me being "older".
Maybe my intense relationship with all the ups and downs and whatevers coming to an end, maybe the weight of what I was anticipating to be one of the biggest choices I could make was stressing me out, maybe it was all the things going on rolled into one. It certainly wasn't worn out synapses and dendrites ready to shuffle off to buffalo.
And back to the point: I think the thing I get the most sick of hearing about is when people start griping about all the things they wished they'd learned when they were young. Well, what are you doing tomorrow? There's a junior college right down the street. I hear they have things called classes there. Or, better yet, if you're in KC (and probably elsewhere, i'm sort of ignorant sometimes), there's a thing called Communiversity, geared towards people who aren't probably going to quit everything for a second degree but would like to learn more or something new. Instead, people loaf around not learning anything-or worse, not reinforcing what they do know, and what happens? Their brains and their bodies tend to atrophy. I think I get especially pissed when I tell people that I'm learning other languages and they say "oh, well, it's too late for that. Study says you should do it between..." blah blah blah. Pardon me while my eardrums start to bleed.
You either want to learn or you don't. I argue that aside from some of the tonal languages because of the actual physiological and neurological things that have to happen from the beginning, any adult can re-route their thinking to that of when they were little to learn a language. Take away the pressures of day to day life, add complete and total patience of others to repeat and repeat and point and repeat and slow things down and associate action and pictures and objects with words over and over again like they did when we were little, and any adult can learn just as fast , as well and as thoroughly as any 3 year old.
I concede that I'm coming at this whole tirade from some very specific and privileged perches:
1. I'm 25. I'm sure everyone who's ever suffered later on thought life was ripe and for the picking when they were my age too
2. I have parents who are older than most-like my parents are basically the age of some people's grandparents, and or roughly the same age as people 20 years older than me-so this changes my perspective on what people can or cannot accomplish. My mom is amazing. I'm not disclosing ages but people think that she's a good 20 years younger than she is based on how she dresses, looks, acts, her interests, etc.
3. My grandmother on my mom's side turned 100 in January. Up until about...6 or 7 months ago, she lived by herself. In her own home. Taking care of herself. She's still going strong but she had some complications with glaucoma and the such that put a kink in the ways she does things. This is a woman who has not only had but recovered successfully from two falls-the kind that would kill most others. And she's funny. And lucid. And opinionated. I know where I get it from I guess.
I argue that all of these are due in part to good genes, ok fine, but also to the fact that most everyone in my life that others consider "old" are passionate about something. With my mom, it varies. With my grandma, it's religion. Whatever it takes to keep you interested, invested and active. I don't care. I'll put up with dogmas and getting huge envelopes stuffed with Good Housekeeping articles about gardening, eating natural and sun protection (thanks mom) if I have to if it means that the people in my life, who have shaped my life, continue to act in a way that keeps them plugged in.
I dunno, I just hope with everything that I am and with the motto of "actions must match intentions" that I can keep myself far away from the hypocritical side of this argument and look back when I'm however old and be truly confident that I did, learned, pushed and cared about everything and anything.
In Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood writes a character named Crake. Without busting any plot bubbles, there's one idea I think sums my opinions up beautifully. He turns to Jimmy and says "immortality is just the unawareness of the end of life." Or something akin to that...
What with all my wizened years, exact quotes tend to escape me. Or I read too much.