I turned 47 last month, which would have seemed far more difficult to believe if I wasn’t faced with so much evidence of aging on the reg these days: more and more grey hairs but less hair volume overall, an increasingly blurry jawline, that helpless little umff noise I seem to make now whenever I haul myself out of a chair, the growing feeling of disconnect with pretty much every fashion trend that emerges (paperbag-waist pants can go fuck themselves in particular, followed closely by mom jeans).

It’s not easy to feel total acceptance about getting older. I mean, is there anything graceful about seeing your neck transform into a pile of wadded-up crepe paper? How about those aforementioned grey hairs and the way they’re so incredibly wiry, as though calcifying from the inside out? Or when you accidentally open the front-facing camera on your phone when you’re at a not-great angle and it’s like my GOD, I’m just straight-up melting like those Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Well. Aside from the whole Observing Your Own Rapid Decay side of things, there are upsides to being of a certain vintage. For instance, I don’t even have to endure the humiliation of trying those weird bag-waist pants: I can tell from wayyyyyy over here they’re not for me. I feel far more settled in who I am and what I care about, and there is a real element of peace to that.

It’s like I’ve spent much of my life trying to form myself into different shapes, and I am finally losing the desire to keep doing so. Middle age feels like a lot of things, but perhaps most of all it feels far more authentic.

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