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Call Me Old

I earned it.

Dawn Downey
2 min readFeb 24, 2023


Growing older is the most satisfying adventure of my life.

Aging gives me the opportunity to practice courage. In other adventures, I’m a proud coward. Venture down an unknown street? No way. Hike a trail by myself? Nope. Investigate the noise downstairs? Not me. Most things in life give me the chance to change my mind. Aging is an ongoing trek into the unknown, from which there’s no turning back. I can’t chicken out.

And I cannot fail.

For me the worst part of aging is that people tell me I don’t look my age.

Author Terra Trevor wrote, “Friends who do not understand, keep telling me how this new short cut makes me look ten years younger, so current and fresh. Yet in my Native culture, in this season of my life, looking younger and current is not of value to me.”

Your NativeFriend is equally inspiring. “Aging is a privilege. It’s such an honor to grow old with people you love. We should not be obsessed with looking young. Looking old and getting old is beautiful and we should open more space for aging.”

Cheered on by women like these two authors, I have no desire to look younger. My thinning hair proclaims the passage of time. I wish it would turn silver faster. Silver, a precious metal.

I’ve always wanted to be older. In my forties, I wanted to be fifty. In my fifties, I longed for sixty. I’ve only been seventy-two for a month, and I’m already grasping after the number seventy-three, like it’s first prize. Youth was a too tight, itchy sweater that made me squirm. These days my skin is loose and wrinkly; it gives me room to breathe. I like being old.

I even like the word — old gets to the point; there’s no time for hedging. Its sound is resonant. Its shape is full of space.