On aging…By Epiphany Castro…

“On and on and on and on,and my cypher keeps rolling like a rolling stone”-E.Badu

The world keeps turning..and so must we..Listen…not one damn person promised you that this aging thing was gonna be dope. Not ONE ya hear me? Shiit..yesterday,today and tomorrow ain’t promised fo sho.. We didn’t know we’d be above ground contemplating this growing older shyt. Then you said snap-and here we are.Me? I’m staring down the barrel of 60 come November.

Us humanfolk are moving at a breakneck speed. Especially women. Yeah I said it,so what? When I was 8 I yearned to be 12,when I was 12 I yearned to be 16,then 21 and 25 etc etc etc…Youth often does not afford us the luxury of being happy in the moment. OR,we are so very happy at the moment we ain’t studying being anywhere else except where we are right then.. Get it? Ok so…I do believe when I hit 30 shit got real.I no longer wished to be older,nor did I wish to be younger. I was coming into that thing,you know the one..adulting I believe it’s called.By this time I’d settled down with Daniel,who would soon marry me. I’d given myself certain deadlines to guide me throughout my 20’s,generally milestones to be more clear. I’d been a working artist since my teens but decided if that thang didn’t happen by 30 I was gonna take down my shingle and concentrate on raising my family. That was my plan B. A wise man once told me to ALWAYS have a Plan B to always have a fallback. He didn’t lie. Plan B was activated in my early 30’s after I married and we had Baby Max.Then came dogs,cats,returning to college and buying a home. Ya know those things we often think are our main goals. As I reflect I sure had a gang of Plan B’s…but I digress..I detest surprises so I by nature am a planner. Rarely is anything I do,random.. However, adulting didn’t happen overnight because by nature I am also something else…HELLA CHILDISH! Luckily I had/have Daniel. He dont play that shyt. We are without a doubt yin and yang.

Hiccups come and hiccups go,mine was returning to the arts scene. Often a scene with folks who were at least 10 years younger than me. I was busy doing my poetry and music while being a teacher,mom and wife for my family all while doing my best to hide my age. I was literally ashamed.. Don’t ask me why. I have thought and thought and have no idea what the answer is. Maybe one day I will know but for now,I got nothin on that.. Anyhoo,back then I was also fervently chasing away my gray hair. 15 boxes of hair color to coat my silver peeping through my booty length locs. I needed my hair blackity black. No dice in between. That was indicator # 1. Soon after was weight obsession and wrinkle hunting. This was some bullshyt for real,I promise..I was like in the eye of some stoopid scared of an aging storm. To my vast knowledge there is no actual fountain of youth and it was exhausting being me at that time.

How did I get from there to here you ask? Come closer…a little more..ok you ready??? I GOT OLDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!! I grew WISER! I GOT SMARTER!!!!!!! It did not happen overnight. I am here to say it’s ok to be wherever you are but ya gotta get somewhere else sometime,ya dig? Now,how ya get there is yo business….It is ok.. Growing older really is ok. Concerns yes…but at any age we will have concerns. They just differ. Growing older ain’t exactly easy like Sunday mawnin. It is manageable. Even while being hurled with AARP ads,Life Insurance quotes and final resting plans,you got this!!! All while being able to stop at the liquor store for libations without being carded. Oh I know it may feel like a bit of a senior metaverse,confusing,frustrating,and plain ol exhausting..there is something you can do….ACCEPT THAT SHYT!!!!!!!! Acceptance is one of the hardest things to do in this life but well worth it at the end of the day. No need to get casket ready. Don’t give up-u still cute,live on…..This aging gracefully thing..I’m starting to see there is something to it really.

For years I hated being asked my age. I was taught growing up to never question a lady about her age. I suppose that in itself sort of set me up for failure.. I did unlearn this. We can do lots of things without being rude or prying. This is one I don’t care about anymore..ask away. I truly believe had it not been for an atrocious hair hi lighting experience that fried my hair during lockdown- I would not have let the gray come in. I did.. And I dig it. Who knew my lil ol salt and pepper TWA could open roads for me to have liberty within myself. This liberation led me to start “leaking” my age to peers,coworkers,and even social media. This was huge because what did I do?????? I ACCEPTED my age. I was growing as I continue to still do,with every passing day. I gained pride in my years. I was able to marvel at this vessel I had not always treated in the most kind way over the years. Yet,her I is…Dope and all.

Of course concerns lurk. I chatted with a bunch of folks and came up with some things that are at the forefront of this process.. Wanna hear it? Hear it go.. The question was “ What are you most concerned with regarding aging?”

-Being able to care for myself as I grow older without being a burden on others

-Being alone,dying alone
-Facing my own mortality
-Coming to terms with growing health issues
-Depending on others
-Having mobility issues
-Being financially prepared
-Working myself to death
-The Ageism and general disrespect for 40 plus folks within society
-Dealing with people who categorize age acceptance with negativity
-Being irrelevant and forgotten
-Feeling invisible
-Healthcare costs
-Overcoming societal stereotypes about what age looks like physically nd mentally -Tring to play catch up but feeling like you are too far behind…
-Feeling the consequences of your behavior in your youth
-Trying to navigate becoming an elder

That’s a whole lot huh? Well listen..I edited hella stuff..I promise there is more..Know this..there is no playbook baby. You’re gonna have to wing it.One day at a time. One issue at a time. We bob,weave and shadowbox with society screaming”Fuck them old folks”. We got a barrage of commercialism coming our way,carved out for our age demographic,medication,incontinence,final resting plans..jeeeesh…we get it . It sucks but there are some sunny skies…

We age. We grow. We start not giving a rat’s azz about things that were once tantamount in our lives!!! We got wisdom yall! We got liberty. We earned it too!

We are now the keepers of wisdom..now act like it.AND remember and remind those who need reminders. Oh yeah,if you ain’t where you wanna be …move. You aint a tree.

Kinda vintage,sorta savage,always dope…

Love ~Epiphany Castro


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One thought on “On aging…By Epiphany Castro…

  1. Totally feel you Epiphany!! Thanks for sharing yourself. Acceptance is the answer. Now I fully understand “”grow old or die young” Things are no longer more important than self, family and friends. I tell my age like the kids now hoping for the next age.. almost 75 ,🤣
    74 still learning the blessings of aging. Blessed just be healthy of sound mind, no meds and self -sufficient. Dread the thought of becoming useless and a burden but my one day at a time and being grateful for every “TODAY” has served me well…. Always appreciated your style and it’s still YOU and dope!!!❤️💕Much Love 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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