I was 21 years old when I looked in the mirror in the computer science building’s bathroom and saw the first grey hairs growing out of my scalp. It was that same year that I started to see small grey flecks of dust in my vision when I looked up at a clear blue sky or at a white wall. My eye doctor told me these were floaters, little blobs of protein that develop in the fluid in your eyeball. Near-sighted people like me get them quite frequently.
A couple years later I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to scoop my gallbladder out with a spoon. The surgeon did it with a scalpel and a tiny camera instead, and I was only 24. Then my knees started to hurt when I climbed up the stairs. By this point I’d also lost track of how many cavities I’d had filled, caused by too much Mountain Dew and too little dental floss.
A friend my age told me over dinner she is fighting acid reflux disease and takes medication for a slight thyroid imbalance. Another friend was just diagnosed with pernicious anemia and has to get shots of B12. We are not old. We are in out late 20’s and early 30’s.
No one told me my body was going to break down so fast. No one warned me that after 21 years I’d start needing repairs. I cannot trade myself in for a newer model. So if you are young and your body is working, enjoy it for me. It won’t be long until you’ll need a fix-up and wish you’d invested in more dental floss as a child.