Long enough title for ya? I’m sort of feeling a little Bloggess-esque with that crazy-ass title. Not changing it though.
So. I have to tell you a secret. Not a hush hush type secret that you have to keep all to yourself or I’ll kill you. No. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m not psychotic. It’s time I show transparency (snort) and let you into how my mind really works. Be afraid, my friends. Be very, very afraid.
Once upon a time, I was a 6th grade girl. I really was. And by the way, that’s the year I got my period. I told this girl Amy…as a top secret information type of thing. She told the whole freaking school. So everyone knew. Wow, was that embarrassing. And Mrs. Valentine, my 6th grade teacher, took me aside while the kids were at recess and had a woman to woman with me, showing me where she kept the maxi pads. ANYWAY, as usual, I digress. Or I’m avoiding telling you…hmmm…
As I was saying…
I remember. Very vividly. I had a dream that I was standing in front of a grave in, what I presumed to be a cemetery. I KNEW it was mine, even before I looked at the name engraved on the stone that stood before me. Apparently, I had just died because it was a freshly dug grave and I remember smelling earthworms. I stood in shock when the name on the tombstone finally registered. And I crumpled down upon the freshly turned earth, curled into a fetal ball, and sobbed.
I woke up sobbing.
I remember this dream. As well as I remember my own name. And here, 28 years later, I’m sharing it finally. I never told anyone about it.
Now, mind you, I think I know why I dreamed this. We had done some sort of thing in school that predicted when we would die. The year of my death was going to be 2026. Yes. That IS something I would remember. The approximate date of your death, well, it kind of sticks with you.
But I recall being so upset because I was going to die at such a young age. In 2026, I’m only going to be 56 years old. That news upset me slightly. And I’m positive, to this day, that is why I had this very real, vivid and exceptionally terrifying (but not in a nightmare sort of way) dream.
Only. And now this is where the secret tale comes in.
That dream. It made me so scared of growing old and dying. I know all the bullshit lines. Yes, growing old is better than the alternative. Well, apparently, according to my 6th grade prediction, I don’t have to worry about growing too old.
But I live in fear of it regardless. Not the wrinkles. Although, that doesn’t sit well with me. Gray hair. I have copious amounts that are masked with varying degrees of blond and light brown. I’m perfectly fine going gray.
It’s the getting old part. The withering and wilting. The memory fading with the eyesight and hearing.
Just growing old. Everything about it. And the dying.
I think it would sit better with me if growing old was just a number and there wasn’t this dying thing kind of associated with it.
As I get older, I get more…I don’t want to say preoccupied, because it’s not a preoccupation. But I get more aware. Of time. Of my body not responding the way it used to. Of fine lines. Of slight hearing loss, because no, I’m not ignoring you. I truly don’t think I heard you.
And it petrifies me.
But I can’t do anything about it.
Except to try to stay alive past the age of 56, and grow old proudly. And live. LIVE and enjoy the life that I have. Not fixate on what is inevitable. Besides taxes, of course. Plus of course, save money for retirement and botox. And getting the roots touched up every 3-5 weeks.
I’ve lived with this fear for so long. And it’s stayed so deep inside of me. It’s almost become a part of me. Like my hair. I live with it yet only notice it if I actually let myself think about it.
I really need to let it go. To get over this.
Or just keep it deep and not bring it out again.
There is no point. Just a tale. A little piece of me I’m sharing with you.
But you? Do you have something that you’ve kept deep inside for so long that it’s become a part of you? Like a involuntary response?