A Distinct Smell?

when i was 15.5 yrs old i got my first job.  i worked in a cafeteria frequented by the elderly community.  prior to this job i joked often about how 'old' people 'smell' as if they're rotting from the inside out and they use talc powder to cover this disturbing scent.  my parents laughed, my friends laughed, older people laughed - they all thought it was funny.  however, until my first job, i had no notion just how true it was!

the truth of the matter is that we are all rotting sacs of fluid.  we are all dying.  when you're young you have a difficult time wrapping your head around this concept but as you grow older and things begin to go wrong (health wise) and as more things begin to fail and ache, get stiff and break you begin to realize just how true it is.

many times it takes a major health crisis before people realize they need to begin taking care of themselves.  and many times they still refuse to take the steps necessary to do so.  i'm guilty of this although i do make gross attempts from time to time. 

when i was young, just like many i'm sure, i never considered the possibility of anything going 'wrong' with me that could not be repaired.  i got my wake up call 3 days prior to my 28th birthday.  despite my youth and what great shape i was in, i suffered massive joint and nerve trauma while playing volleyball.  the affects are far reaching and turned into an 'incurable condition' which is greatly debilitating.

it was at this time i had to step back and really deal with my life; accept the fact that i too will some day 'smell' and attempt to hide it with perfumed scents, accept responsibility for everything in between, reflect on my life thus far, make changes as needed, etc.  this must be the ultimate definition of maturity...

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal
31-35, F
11 Responses Jun 29, 2007

a resounding *DITTO* from me!

Ah, neural implants...when will I be able to hack my mind? <br />
We can only hope that science continues to make significant advances at the same rate it has over last few decades/century.<br />
I hate anything that forces me to question my thought process, or that causes me to suspect myself as an unreliable narrator.

Perhaps by the time you have to worry bout that there will be some sort of neural implant to impeded the aging process and maintain flexibility ... <br />
<br />
I fear the same thing though. Nothing else about the aging process bothers me (now) accept the affects on the mind ... *shudders*

I'm most afraid of the effects of aging on my mind. A few years ago a study confirmed what many of us already suspected... As we grow older we get more stubborn. The oldest connections in our minds grow super strong bonds (Probably in an attempt to retain knowledge), our neurons connections get tougher and more resilient to change. <br />
In other words we will hold our opinions stronger then ever, and will have a VERY tough time seeing otherwise.<br />
I value flexible thinking! I must fight this menace of age and stubbornness.

Thank you, Dx..<br />
<br />
I guess I never really finished the last sentence. I'd be foolish if I thought this was the end of my maturing process. But I think when a child realizes what their life was, what it is and what it will become, taking into account their contributions or lack thereof ... that's a big step and only opens one up to further scrutiny of the maturing process.

How well stated "C". . . . .<br />
I'm sticking with real ladies age like fine wines. LoL<br />
Have a good one,<br />

Brought tears to my eyes, Cel. <br />
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You're right in so many ways ... I can't refute it. <br />
<br />
Bring on the talcom powders! hehe

Thanks, halo.

I myself seem to agree with wht u are saing god lov u

katherinemary - thank you for your comment and for sharing your views. after re-reading the story i realize there are things that need some explanation. feeling vibrant and alive at any age is absolutely possible in my humble opinion. however, the fact remains we begin dying the very day we are born. i too have seen many that age gracefully, some whom of which grow more beautiful with age. i'm not one to dye my hair or have facelifts so i will be one of those 'mature' people you speak of. i can only hope it's becoming. i also see wrinkles as a testament to your life which only serves to provide you with visible character beyond that which you already possess. i am no longer 20, a bit beyond a decade has passed since that 'season' in life. and as i recall it now i laugh. though at the time it was no laughing matter. i was mortified at the thought of losing my 'youth', my innocence in the eyes of society and becoming a TRUE 'adult' ... it wasn't really anything to do with 'age' or 'getting old' but more so with the realization that my adolesence and thus my childhood had passed. i would no longer be able to blame bad decisions, actions, etc. on being a 'teenager.' in hindsight i don't truly understand my reaction to that particular birthday because i was never one to get into trouble - nothing of consequence anyway. the only things i ever got in 'trouble' for were things like; my bedroom not being clean enough, leaving my curling iron on the vanity, not doing dishes IMMEDIATELY, etc. it's not that life was changing in any way, shape or form as i had been on my own for a few years already at that point. i matured at a very early age and took on more responsibility than children should. perhaps i felt the permanent loss of childhood and the implications that came with it - that i'd never again spend the entire summer outside; riding bikes with my friends all day long, swimming for hours on end, not worrying about cancer and other forms of disease, not having to balance a checkbook, or maintain a vehicle, etc. for the first time, perhaps i was grieving that loss ... i'm not certain but that seems a very plausible explanation for my negative reaction to my 20th b-day and thankfully i was only 'miserable' for a few weeks. i'm glad you commented as it prompted me to explore the reasons behind my reaction. i've only laughed about it and thought it to be a silly thing that happened or perhaps a 'fluke' until now... thank you!

Wow...that's a sobering observation...rotting sacks of fluid..<br />
<br />
I'd like to offer an alternative view...sometimes I see a someone who is aging gracefully and I feel hopeful. There is something deeply sweet and honest about wrinkles and that shock of completely white hair that is something to admire. I think I am struck by this when I see men and women who have embraced their age and their selves, who are at peace and who love the lives that they have created. You can be dying and miserable at 20, whether you look it or not. I believe you can feel vibrant and alive at any age. That's my hope.