Next week I turn 57 years old. At 50, I didn’t feel old. Even at 55, I still didn’t feel old. But now that 57 is just around the corner, there’s no escaping it. I’m getting old. Most of last week I was in a severe depression, thinking about things I’ve accomplished, or have yet to accomplish, and wondering if it is all pointless or really matters. Then I realized, if it matters to me, then it matters. I’ve accepted the fact that some of the things I’ve wanted to do are simply out of reach and that’s just how it is. There’s nothing wrong with having ambitions, as long as we face the reality that we might not achieve every single one of them. We can still dream, we can still hope. Doors can still open to make those things happen. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I can no longer do those things, although it might feel that way sometimes.
As a pagan, growing older also means I should probably start exploring the works of some of the younger, popular pagans and witches. I realize just because someone is popular or has a best-selling book doesn’t mean their work is necessarily wonderful, but there are few well known ’30-something’ author/teachers who have released some amazing books on witchcraft and psychic ability. I avoided these authors for awhile because I found them a bit narcissistic on social media, (but aren’t we all?), and I decided that I should look into their work. Even though my own witchcraft is geared more toward Old-World and Celtic Paganism, these new young authors have some worthwhile things to contribute to the practice of witchcraft. I don’t have to agree with everything they say.
I hate most pictures of myself and I delete over 90% of them. I never look at a camera straight on because of my broken, crooked nose. As far as looks go, I’m no model, but I think I’m still fairly attractive at my age. There’s a few more wrinkles around my eyes and on my hands, and I have hair growing in unfortunate places, but I’m not bad looking. I don’t mind approaching DILF-hood. (If you don’t know what a DILF is, look it up. I have a few friends who are definately DILF’s). But I refuse to age “gracefully”. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I have to start acting feeble and dressing like Grandpa Walton. Maybe more like Grandpa Munster. Even when I hit 60, 70 and beyond, I’ll still be getting tattoos. I’ll still be practicing witchcraft. I’ll still be watching gay porn and shoving my gayness down the throats of bigots and homophobes. I’ll still be listening to the Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Idol. I’ll still be protesting gun violence, racism and inequality. I’ll still be wearing Harry Potter t-shirts and enjoying whatever I please.
The older you get, the less you care what others think. When people ask, “Aren’t you a little old to still be doing that?” I tell them, “Absolutely not, get the fuck out of here“. If something brings you joy and isn’t hurting anyone, then what other people think about it is completely irrelevant. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to do what you love. If there are people around you who are criticizing your interests or lifestyle, then maybe these are not people you need in your life. I’ve gotten rid of more than one toxic “friend’ in the past. Sometimes it has to be done. Get rid of them. Don’t make a big, dramatic production of it, just quietly disappear from their lives.
I accept that I’m getting older, but that doesn’t mean I have to “mellow out” or “act my age”. Fuck that. I will forever be a defiantly out and openly proud gay man who practices witchcraft. I plan to grow old disgracefully, as I become a cross between Henry Rollins (hot, tattooed punk rocker and spoken word artist) and Diana Trent (cynical troublemaker from the BBC comedy Waiting for God). These are my new role models. I’m at the point now where I’m going to live my life the way I please. No apologies, no regrets. I’m not here to impress anyone. Except my dog, but he’s easily impressed.
Til next time,