Girl looking at her scalp in the mirror

I hate getting older. I usually steer clear of stereotypes like middle aged women complaining of laugh lines and Keto fails, but after hearing the third dunkin’ donut boy call me ma’am this month I’ve come undone.

I realize very few of us enjoy the thought of getting older, especially in a youth-obsessed culture where Botox injections are the new manicure. But I’ve always had an extra special problem with the concept, even before crossing over to 40. Ewe. Just saying it.

From my earliest memories all I’ve wanted to do is grow up , wear heels, move out, and wear kick butt Heather Locklear business suits ( grew up on a unhealthy diet of Melrose Place and Glamour Shots) and be an adult. Then in my mid-twenties, it all came to a grinding halt. And every birthday has brought a downward spiral of dread, habitual Googling of Asian skin secrets and increased prayer against the spirit of crow’s feet.

When I hit 30, I cried. When I found my first gray hair at 35, I embraced full denial blaming the stress from a millennial assistant who wore jammies to work. Or maybe those new supplements. Dang herbs! When 50-year-old men began messaging me on my dating app, I instantly cancelled. Surely, if any Match member was insane enough to attempt dating a spring chick, this site could not be trusted.

And the inner turmoil has only gotten worse since crossing into my fourth decade.

Maybe we all feel this way. Maybe everyone else is better at sucking it up, happy to trade off for derma elasticity for finally driving reliable cars. Maybe it is better to be at the top of the food chain at work, while being targeted for osteoporosis ads on Facebook.

However, I do feel my age-dread is comparably more drastic because it’s compounded by the fact that deep down I still feel 25…and still kinda act like it. For example…

I still shop at Forever 21. The quality is like wearing third world shoestring, but it’s dang cheap and I somehow feel as long as I can saunter in to buy a high wasted denim and chunky knits, I’m still closer to birth than death. I realize I should take my rightful place at Black House White Market sales, with the exception of reverting to crop tops, of course. I’m not a sociopath.

I still say “dude.” It’s like my favorite word. I thought eventually I’d drop it, but I’m getting increasingly nervous I’ll be that 60-year-old saying, “are you kidding me, dude?” to her husband in public. I dunno.
I have a consistent tendency to blare late 90’s R & B whenever I’m really happy, or really sad. It’s really not until your teenage pounds on your wall begging you to turn down your Woo Tang Clan that you realize the depth of this parental abnormality. But for some reason, “Jump Around” has been my anthem for victory and my antidote for bad days since teenage hood. At this point I feel even Jesus understands. “Ah, look at her go. Could be worse, right?”

I’m still scared of the cops. I just think there’s a point when we’re supposed to grow up and realize the cops are our friends. They aren’t breaking up your keg party anymore, they’re keeping your neighborhood safe. But alas. when the Po Po pulls behind me and most always break into a sweat. “Kids are you buckled?!” Which is hilarious because if ever I was pulled over, the worst he would find is a large amount concealed Home Goods receipts and speakers blasting to K Love radio.

I still want to go dancing. I honestly thought after I gave my life to Christ, birthed three children, and acquired a management title that this desire would quell. But no, I can honestly say, at any moment at any time, if I were asked to drop everything and go dancing, I would sprint to the car in age-inappropriate garb. I know I’m too old. I know it’s worldly. But. There better be clubs in heaven. Just sayin.’

I still do irresponsible things characterized by way ward youth, like eat while driving (I’m talkin’ cereal ), driving after forgetting shoes, and avoiding my taxes. Thank God for my Boy Scout of a husband whom holds it all together, but still. It’s shameful.

My dissolution is so strong that at times I can almost truly believe I’m still 28.

However. Coupla things.

I have trouble standing. By some unforgiveable work of Satan, I’ve lost the ability to sit for a prolonged amount of time, or sit Indian style without now having to do a ‘leg test’ before rising. I’ve literally fallen straight to the ground at a restaurant after standing up too quickly in heels. It’s just plain demoralizing, and I refuse to believe it’s anything but a circulatory phase.

I’ve become crotchety. I’ve always had a tad of a temper. But with Jesus’ help I’ve prided myself of being tolerant, loving, laid back gal even under rough circumstances. However. When finding myself next to a punk wearing a “F*ck y’all” shirt (asterick omitted) at my gym, I complained to the staff immediately. It was act of indignance not to be upstaged another recent outrage I voiced on a Go Daddy call, voluntarily placing myself on hold for 30 minutes to complain about customer service. I feel I’m one gray hair away from becoming that old woman who “shushes” people in the movies.

There’s more. But this is getting depressing.

While drafting this written pity party, however, I have been pleasantly surprised by feelings of gratefulness over things changing for the better through ‘maturity.”  Honestly when I think of all the naïve, immature ways I’ve handled situations, it’s almost unbearable. I never thought I’d reach the level of emotional maturity to be able to socialize with the ex, or manage to keep my mouth shut talking politics with liberal friends after two glasses of Pinot. And it’s so liberating to be the giver of advice and share encouraging stories with struggling friends.

And, so all of my fellow age-resisters, let us continue to pray for acceptance and graceful aging in our puff sleeve tops, and embrace the good found in the next seasons of life. Even when the next employed toddler calls us ma’am

jessicakastner

Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist, author and contributor to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Huff Post, God TV, Beliefnet, Crosswalk and many more. When she's not burning dinner, daydreaming about the beach, she can be found on the trampoline with her copious amount of children, wishing she'd ordered the turbo shot.

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