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Wear and tear

It’s expected that things change when they get older; the process of growth causes ageing and that is obvious in our appearance. Youth in my view is highly overrated and I have always considered those who do anything and everything to hold on to what is long gone; desperate.

I never get tired of telling people about one of my favourite books and its author; a lady called Katie Byron wrote a book called “Loving what is” and it has changed many lives. In the view of Katie, suffering really is what happens when you refuse to accept reality; by loving what is, we don’t suffer; we just deal with things as best as we can and live lives that are at peace and entrenched in harmony.

While most of us don’t look like we did decades ago, it is natural that we show signs that we grew and that means that we aged… I had a bald head for over a decade so it wouldn’t have been obvious whether I had gone grey or not but a few of my contemporaries have a full head of grey and while I don’t know how I would feel to wake up someday and be some sort of silver fox, I was rather protective of the one grey hair I recently came across. Given the journey of life so far, I considered it a badge of honour and a great privilege that I lived long enough to be honoured with it.

My badge of honour was displayed and shown off to all and sundry and you can imagine my horror when one well meaning acquaintance yanked it out!!

It seemed my love of grey was not shared by those who said it was a disfigurement of my otherwise youthful appearance. A distant cousin chipped in a comment and it was the fact that it wasn’t a surprise to my system as I had been a bonafide owner of a grey patch since I was 7. It had been my entry into the world of grownups in those days and had meant I could freely join in their conversations and enjoy their food, while everyone else played rough.

To be fair I had enjoyed the company of elders more than my contemporaries as a child as they seemed to be a lot more interesting and could feed my imagination with wonderful tales from far and wide.

Before I got lost in my reverie, I was prodded by someone else who took a long look at me and decided that I used to be truly beautiful! I wasn’t sure whether that meant that I had grown warts and become ugly when I listened to this person describe some creature that was lean, very light skinned and had very long hair to all who looked at me in askance!!

A few people tried to be tactful and said I could pass for someone decades younger and certainly was still very beautiful but political correctness aside I admitted  I was not the girl I was in my twenties but the great news was that I didn’t want to be.

It would be impossible for anything not to grow, even pieces of plastic that are as inanimate as they come do so.  Later on when I stood back to take a good look at myself, I could see what they meant but I was loving what I saw as every little change was a sign of phenomenal and even great change.

The perfect waist they eulogised was gone to make wide the passage of my children and I consider that a great trade. The darker skin is a direct result of my steadfast refusal to tone or bleach the pigmentation that comes with age and it certainly explains the lack of wrinkles and great elasticity of the skin I have been blessed with.

The hair was a trade off to a more simple and easier to maintain look and I would not change the bald days for anything; in fact I would go back if my loved ones would let me. It’s one thing to make choices that age us , it’s another thing to live well and be well and the truth is we get back what we put in.

The passing of the years has brought a general wear and tear and I am sure I cant be the only one who has changed; the difference between me and most is that I can see that aging is honourable and a privilege.

In a world where good things happen to bad people, God has seen me through some ferocious battles and here I stand able to witness and testify that even though weeping sometimes endures for many nights, joy comes in the mornings. I look back at life and remember friends and family cut down in their youth and thank God for grey hair.

I remember Tosin Sangonuga who died at 21, Toyin Onagoruwa, cut down by a hail of bullets in his twenties, my baby sister Modupe Ogunjobi, dead at 10years and so many others and I begin to thank God and celebrate him for the privilege of grey hair. There may be wear and tear showing on us all but they are testimonies of all we have seen and conquered!


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