The passage of youth

I find that in my 28th year of life, things are changing. My hair is a little grayer, the hairline higher. A couple of months ago I had my first bout with runner’s knee (which I’m happy to say has since been successfully rehabbed). Hell, even my cholesterol is a little higher than it used to be (although still at an acceptable level). Every day I look in the mirror it becomes increasingly apparent that, biologically speaking, things are  now starting to slow down.

Now does that mean I consider myself to be an old man? Hardly. In fact, I’m physically in better shape now than I was at 18. But it certainly has taken a hell of a lot more work to get to that point than it would have ten years ago. I believe that mainstream scientists consider the body to have stopped “growing” at around age 25 or so. I’ve certainly passed that point. So while I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m old by any stretch of the imagination, I’m no longer in the throws of youth, either. I’m entering that odd, in between phase.

That’s not to say I fear aging. I’ve always been determined to age with dignity. No coloring of the hair to hide the gray, no implants when it falls out (I plan on going the Bruce Willis route if and when the latter happens). And you certainly get the benefits in knowledge and wisdom that come with increased age. I feel like I finally have some authority in the world…albeit still not a whole lot…but more than a 20 year old. But that’s also not to say that it won’t take some adjusting. I’m just now starting to see the physical signs of aging creep in, and although it’s happening at a slow rate, it’s still startling at times.

Ultimately, I’d like to think that our lives are enriched by aging. We become more appreciative, of both what we had and the days yet to come. We become more reflective and introspective. Our lives hopefully level out and become a little more stable. I’d also like to think that we’re defined less by our appearance as we age and more by the substance of our lives, by our contributions, our thoughts, our values, and our personalities. So I don’t fear the journey that I’ve begun. Rather, I embrace it, and plan on allowing it to make me a better person.

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