I’m afraid of ‘AGE’. I’m afraid of forgetting things, I’m afraid of dying alone, I’m afraid of old age homes, I’m simply afraid of Ailing Gracefully to the End. I guess I can say Age is the horror story I’ve grown to fear, it’s that itch that is a constant reminder of what lies ahead. Age and fragility are the twins that suck the youth out of self, It’s the circle of life that is a constant reminder that death is knocking ever silently and gently as I pave the way to kicking the bucket. They say Age is maturity, Age is wisdom, and Age is inevitable however how is it we find ourselves fearing its stages. With mid- life crises and menopause knocking on our door, steering us closer to our expiration date in the land of grey hairs and wrinkles, with our love ones nursing us to our grave.
I woke up today. Birds chirping with the morning rays of sunshine dancing on my window pane. I dragged myself out of bed, rubbing sleep from my eyes. I stared in the mirror to the realization that the daunting, miserable day had come. It was my birthday, my born day, my happy day, that one day in a year I’m meant to celebrate my place in this world – the day I embrace the ‘I’ in self. Why am I all doom and gloom I’ve no idea and I shouldn’t be with my birth name being ‘Murunwa’ a Venda name meaning Angel and with Tendani stamped on my forehead; second name meaning Believe- my parents affirmation that indeed I am an Angel. A blessing to the universe, my sister’s keeper.
Thus why the sudden whinging from the land of milk and honey, how is it I’m standing here contemplating about this day pensively with a brush of melancholy you ask? Because I’m aging and the thought of it, horrifying. I can’t seem to comprehend how I dedicate self to the universe and I’m repaid with longevity that’s sprinkled with wrinkles and grey hair and as I get to the finish line I’ve to deal with nappy changes but then again I may suffer from Alzheimer’s which will mask that stage, as apparently blacks are more likely than whites to be diagnosed with the condition.
It’s the thought that soon I will be clocking the big 40 the dreary, gloomy, dark, depressive 40! Gone will be the days of curve appeal as I strut my curves down singleton-avenue as the hot dandies eye the freshly stemmed roses. The market for a soul mate will shrink even further that my available options will require the scrutiny of a microscope and my expectations for a prince charming will be wishful thinking, like knocking up a 40 year old virgin, I hear the odds are quite low, like everything about the 40; low and slow. Going out becomes an exhausting effort, a glass of wine; one to many and dildo the only rock between the sheets.
How did I get to this road of aging , well first my perky well rounded twinny bits did the sagging, like dipping a teabag in hot water they just deflated to my horror and Ms Nicky Minaj dancing the Anaconda was a sight for sore eyes as I take a pick at my deflated bosom. Then my morning ritual required regular examinations for wrinkles, grey hairs and swag appeal.
Maturation is the ultimate party pooper and who ever said forty is the new twenty was probably Jane Fonda narrating a L’Oreal advert. Though I’m constantly reminded that black don’t crack, I should embrace age with a sense of winery appreciation and good genes. However one look at my mother’s grey hair has me wrapped with despair and raiding science for age erasing creams.
But then the icing on the cake, my mother called wishing me a ‘Happy Birthday’. I told her there’s nothing happy and merry about it, I cried. But then she assured me that “It’s not about growing old; this day is about you being grateful that you have lived long enough to see another year with friends and family, people who love and appreciate you. So now how about celebrating this day with that in mind and eliminating age out of the equation.” From her I got schooled on what birthday celebrations are all about and like Jane Fonda once said, “Looking at age from the outside is so scary. But when you’re inside age it isn’t scary at all. You need maturity to learn this but it’s important to figure out what you need to do for yourself every day to decompress.”