One of my favorite songs in the world is called "rock + roll" by EDEN, and it includes the line "I just wanna die before my heart fails/Of heartbreak and cocktails." It's definitely the kind of line that you sing along to with aggressive emotion, especially under the smoke and strobe lights at a concert at Brooklyn Steel, but I sometimes wonder what that means about how we idealize life.
Being 18, it's surprising how often I hear something along the lines of "if I ever get that old, just kill me." My honest first thought is that I feel way too young to contemplate anything beyond a few years ahead of me. My second thought is: Why?
I understand the sentiment in some ways. I can't imagine how terrible it feels to lose independence or mobility. However, I come from a culture that prioritizes giving back to the older generation. It's a given that you take care of your parents, your grandparents, and you respect them, even as you become independent. I grew up with my grandparents flying in to visit for extended periods constantly, and they, in their old age, remained role models for me.
My grandmother, for one, was the classiest lady you would ever meet, and I definitely gave her way too much-undeserved trouble as a child. She couldn't move around as much as me (both grandparents had problems with both knees) but she still always made the trek down to my elementary school to pick me up whenever she was in town.
She wasn't exactly out-of-touch, either. Most of her misconceptions came from growing up in a way different environment. She picked up texting pretty immediately, and she used to watch me watch YouTube and "The Vampire Diaries" and make comments on how stupid they were, in the nicest possible ways.
It is her influence that makes me question the way we view old age. I'd love to be old and eccentric, after living a full life. There were so many memories in her head, and maybe some sadness that comes with experience as well. She was happy, though, and always learning.
I don't think we should fear the future or what will become of us as we age. We should want to live our lives as long as possible, and we should try our bests to enjoy every second of it.