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  • A friend just wrote me this. It expresses a lot of how I experience getting older, do you agree?

    "Getting older I do feel more vulnerable. As an older person, with much more experience than someone younger you gain tolerance, patience, understanding and wisdom, all things society needs and yet society looks through you as they dowith the homeless, especially women.

    Our society values youth and they want the older baby boomers to make room for the young. I've worked 38 years in dentistry and really need a job but at my age I can't even get an interview. Truthfully I know more dentistry than many young dentists getting out of school, I am more efficient than most young dental assistants. I know lab work, the front desk and lots about assisting. I can make a dentist look brilliant but older people are treated as non existent. We just had a presidential election and I made a campaign t-shirt to wear on campus, had I been a pretty young girl someone might have noticed my slogans but as an older woman no one even looks at you.It's like being a ghost. I notice also that young people treat you like a sweet but silly old lady, they speak more slowly, like you only barely understand the language. These years are not called the declining years for nothing. We are in a state of decline. Eventually there will be health problems that for the grace of God, I don't have. Friends start dying, finances get tougher and tougher so activity becomes less in trying to conserve.

    The youth talks around you not to you avoiding discussion as they are sure you won't understand, no one is candid with older people. When I was young I asked an older woman friend about her thoughts and I can still hear her truth.... mentally we never get older than 35, it's just our bodies wear out. So I'm not ashamed and my body hasn't worn out yet but my mind is still vibrant and I'm invisible due to bias towards the elderly.

    Life becomes more quiet, I miss the chaos of youth, the being too busy, too rushed, and the feeling of accomplishment in meeting the challenges. The saying whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true only to a point.

    As you get older the weight becomes heavier with the load of the years and you wait for the straw that breaks the camels back.

    The losses become greater and the losses so painful and enduring that they make the loss of one's own life not nearly as threatening. I guess we fear death for the loss of what we love in life but as those losses pile up life has less and less meaning.

    Aging is frustrating, the wisdom gained about what is truly valuable in life falls on deaf ears, and as you watch the coming generations, I guess you find you agree that youth is wasted on the young! In this high tech world, I am forever amazed as I watch groups of people together, no one socializing with one another but all looking like praying mantis as they text someone else, it's like being on an alien planet. People walking down the street talking into headsets, they look like the insane talking to themselves. Sitting in a restaurant with their family busy talking about nothing to someone on the phone while the rest sit in silence so they can hear on the phone...."
    Photography by Kiki

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