The Beauty in Getting Old

Do you know how i know i’m getting old? Last night i fell asleep at 11pm, with an open book over my face and the lights on. When i woke up, my arm was in a much deeper sleep than the rest of me, and i was immediately sent to the days when i was a little boy and i would walk into my mother’s bedroom only to find her in the exact same situation. I remember thinking it was super funny and asking her why did she put an open book over her face to go to sleep? And why wouldn’t she turn the lights off? I thought it was funny, now i understand.

So i grew up, and off i went to work at a video store, and i remember half the customers coming in and saying they couldn’t finish the movie because they had fallen asleep halfway through it. I thought that was a betrayal to the art of film making and was profoundly offended that they wouldn’t finish watching the movie i recommended especially for them. It was an affront to my “talents” and it made me question my “skills” at my job. Ok, give me a break, i was fourteen! Back in those days i used to spend nights watching one movie after the other, it would range from the “The Attack of the Killing Refrigerator” to “Out of Africa” or “Pulp Fiction”, it didn’t matter what the movie was, it could be an old cowboy movie and i would still be watching, to me, still to this day, any movie is worth watching. The difference now is that i am the one falling asleep.

In the height of my teenage years i could not fathom the idea of being so tired to the point where a person wouldn’t even be able to stay awake through one of the most enjoyable things in the world, which is watching movies. I would go to movie theaters on my own and spend the entire afternoon thinking of how great it would be to work in that industry and how everything was so creative and beautiful, i mean, even “Striptease” had its good side – in fact I secretly love it, I mean, Burt Reynolds anyone!?. Every movie had a good side. Every movie, even the really crappy ones, still has a good side. Back then i could not go on a day without watching a movie and could swear on my sweet grandmother that i would not go on a day without movies for the rest of my life. Well, fast forward 10 years and here i am, a once a week movie son of a gun who will sometimes even fall asleep during “The Family Guy”. I take it all back, i am getting old.

I am not saying I Am old, but i am definitely moving towards my own extinction, it’s what happens to everyone. As i grew the more responsibilities i acquired, the level of stress increased and the pressure to maintain a well-oiled machine of a life became bigger than myself. That happens to pretty much everyone, it’s just life, sometimes it’s overwhelming, sometimes it’s like a walk in the park. Looking back i see all the things that my parents used to do and I thought were tedious and that they were wasting their time (and mine) with bills and a calculator, i mean, couldn’t you just go to the ATM and get money? I have been supporting myself and living far from home since i was seventeen, I always had a very responsible outlook on things and a bill overdue freaked the hell outta me. Nowadays i live in New York, a place i dreamed of when growing up, I went to Hollywood, and attended Oscar parties, traveled to Australia, another city I dreamed and planned on living when i was in high school, traveled through Europe on my own and saw everything I learned in art school and history class. I was only able to do all these things and become this person I Am because of all the work I put on my goals and ideas, and because of all the stress i had to go through and responsibilities i had to acquire, and also because of all the movies i had to fall asleep in and miss. Life will not hand you all you want in a silver platter, you have to work for it.

It’s beautiful nowadays to realize that i am growing old and to be able to look back and see all the great things i lived through, the people i met and the experiences that made me learn and understand so many other things. So, i guess the rule doesn’t only apply to the movies, but to everything in life. There is beauty in everything, even in getting old.

Author: Gabriel Ruas Santos Rocha

writes for passion, eats for pleasure, travels for wonder.

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