I’m going to share my deepest, darkest secret with you. I’ve never shared it with anyone. I hope I don’t regret it.
I am afraid of getting older.
Well, to be totally honest, I’m more than afraid. I’m terrified. Not of getting old. Of getting older. The difference is subtle, but it’s there. “Old” is an amorphous term. “Old” is always just around the corner. A ten year-old thinks twenty-five is old, and so it goes at every age. But “getting older” is a relentless, inexorable fact of life, affecting even the unknowing ten year-old.
You might think it’s a vanity thing (especially those of you that know me ;)). But that’s not really the problem I have with it. OK, I hate the little baggy skin that’s starting to appear on my neck, but really this fear goes much deeper than that.
If anything in my life is holding me back, it’s not the actual aging. It’s the fear of it. Take my writing, for example. I love the adventure of writing a book. Although getting it published is not my purpose in writing, I would love to have that happen someday. It’s the someday that panics me.
Here’s my thought process:
It will be exciting to finish writing this and start querying to find an agent. Of course, querying takes a long time, but maybe I will eventually get an agent. Then the agent has to sell it to a publisher and that usually doesn’t happen overnight. Once the publisher gets it, it can take two or more years until it hits the shelves.
OMG. I will be SO old by then. That’s way too old to enjoy any of it. I need it done now, before I’m too old, so I can enjoy it. It needs to be done Now. Now. RIGHT NOW.
Aging gracefully is not for me. I can’t even comprehend that concept.
Wait there’s more.
I have lots of cousins; over thirty of them. And we were very close growing up. When I think of them (and me) now at the age of our parents, and our aunts and uncles now the age of our grandparents, I get a knot in my stomach and I have to push the thought out of my mind. I hate the thought of my family and friends getting older more than I hate the thought of getting older myself. If I ever have a panic attack, this will be the trigger.
I’ve shared my deepest darkest secret with you, other than my age, which I try not to dwell on. It’s really not a vanity thing. It’s more for my sanity.
Now, I’m going to work on A Voice Among the Thorns. I need to get it done so I can enjoy it while I’m still young.