On Going Gray and Fading Away

I’m almost 41. I have random grays creeping in all over but I’m getting a good bit on the sides. My self identity has always been thin and young. The thin part explains my love/hate relationship with beer. I don’t really have any other objections to drinking in my life except the fact that I miss thin me. I don’t recognize fat me in the mirror. I haven’t since he came on the scene, which means I’ve been indulging in a form of self loathing for quite some time. Fat me made his appearance soon after I started drinking in college. I know this. I don’t begrudge people having a fat identity. I just don’t.

I also know it’s in my control. But, getting older isn’t. That’s a bridge I have yet to cross. I also bought into growing old gracefully except I think the grays coming in make my hair look like I got in a fight with an ash tray.

Due to various life events, I feel as though I spent my last 10 years in some sort of survival mode and didn’t really pay attention to “getting my life going”. I don’t know if I “need” to ever have kids, but my last attempt at dating someone older had problems because I wasn’t ready to close the door on it. So, appearing younger could have its advantages there just for biological reasons in my case.

At a festival with my best friend recently, I got IDed. My friend went to pull out his ID, and the guy said, “not you, him”, and he pointed at me. I guess being a vampire software engineer who never leaves the house has its benefits. So, as much as I resolved to take aging gracefully, I may end up finding a bottle myself. I’m all for people going for whatever makes them feel like them, however that may manifest itself. I’m sure I have some growing to do because I can’t hold onto looking younger forever.

I don’t feel old; I feel fat. I said this in a recent conversation with my best friend on this subject, among others. I know I need to make my body who I am, but I just haven’t put in the effort. It’s not because others want me to be thinner, but it’s how I identify myself even if it’s not there externally. I need to be myself. I can’t stand seeing a fat man with a turkey neck in pictures. I have switched beers and cut down on the drinking. Now I just need to commit to getting in to the gym again. No real excuses but laziness.

I think a good number of us in my little group here are “Gen X”. We’re sandwiched between two groups that are very attractive to marketers due to their numbers, and so we see much older and much younger people on TV and in popular culture, but not so many our age. We identify with both groups to an extent, but in many ways we’re not quite accepted by others. I’m 5 years older than what’s traditionally considered a Millennial. I do sometimes feel invisible in popular culture.

The grays are getting to me too. Being that’s at least one bit I can take care of just buying a bottle for now, I might be okay with that.

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