Jutta, 62 yrs

Nov 20th 2022

“I think being old means being mature. Mature in the sense of realizing what used to be important isn’t important. It’s the collective experiences that you have that create the person you never could have been when you were young. It’s almost like the right of passage; you learn to become comfortable with yourself. I was a late bloomer. I became comfortable with myself when I was in my 50s.

Throw societal expectations out the window and just live your life. You can plan all you want, but things aren’t going to happen unless it’s meant to be. And then you’re going to sit and be like, 'damn I should have done this'. If something makes your heart pound, do it anyway because you’ll end up achieving something you really wanted. Work is probably why I don’t have time to think about aging. I just can’t sit, even if I want to. I’ll start reading, but then in my head, I’ll be like 'oh, you still have to do this, do that'. But that’s the thing, you’re doing things. A big part of that is that if it’s worthwhile, then it’s not a waste of time. You’re learning something from that.

My advice for growing old is to just go with it. Tuck and roll, man. Don’t fight it, there’s nothing to fight. It comes down to how comfortable you are being you. I used to dye my hair and do other things to 'stave' off aging, but you’re trying to live up to something else, not to yourself. When you become comfortable, other people become uncomfortable around you. It takes strength because people will push up against you for making them feel that way. But you just own it. You’re not responsible for other people’s feelings.

If you want to grow old well, you need to find your peace of mind. It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever fight for. There are some things you can change and other things that’ll happen regardless of what you do. You can be in a hospital and look out the window and see all this traffic going by, people starting their shifts, people coming and going, and you realize, that if you were to drop dead, that’d all keep happening. If you can come to terms with not knowing how things will end, you’ll be okay. Take what you’re given and do your best with it.”