I know I joke about being or feeling old a lot, but it’s a relative kind of old. Going to college in your late twenties/early thirties and being involved in a sport where players over twenty-five are a rarity will do that. It’s less that I feel old and more that everyone around me just seems so young in comparison.
That being said, I have been lucky enough not to look my age. I laughed off my white hairs as they came in. They first appeared in the underside of my hair before spreading across my forehead, forging a silver tiara of experience. Two furrows dug into the space between my eyebrows, shallower lines started crossing my forehead, and crows feet began to radiate from the corners of my eyes. None of this bothered me.
So why is it now that I can’t get over the two curves that have carved themselves around my mouth? I didn’t notice them at first because I only spend so much time staring at my face. I think I only noticed because I got my makeup done for my graduation pictures and the foundation I was wearing settled into the creases.
Now I can’t stop staring at these two parentheses around my mouth. Yeah, parentheses. It’s like they’re surrounding everything I’ll ever say for the rest of my life, making my words superfluous additions to a sentence that you could ignore if you wanted to.
If I could do anything to make them go away, I would. But I can’t. They’re not going anywhere. If anything, there’s just going to keep getting deeper every time I smile. All my thinking wrinkles never gave a second thought; it’s the lines born from smiles that are making me frown. The irony is definitely not lost on me.
Thirty-one isn’t old by any means. But it’s not exactly young anymore, either.