I was at my current workplace. This person I did not recognize was sitting in the cubicle across from me. I was surprised because I did not know there was a cubicle across from me. Most of the people in the department are women in their late 20s/early 30s, and they are all white. This person had none of those characteristics. He appeared to be about 42. He looked at me. I looked at him. But we did not speak.
Eventually he moved to a table directly next to my desk, which I also was not aware was there. We started to chat a bit. He was the new guy in the department, assigned to do something with MLR (medical/legal/regulatory) reviews.
One of the women in the department stopped by to chat a bit. I am not sure what we conversed about But at one point, the woman said, “Well, that’s because you guys are old.” To which I replied that I took offense and that I would submit a complaint to HR. She was speechless and just stared at me for about 30 seconds before I said, “Just kidding.” Even though I thought that maybe I was not kidding.
It really bothered me a lot. These days I am obsessed with aging and more and more anxious that time is moving much too quickly for me. I am paralyzed by fear, in a muted way. In my conversations with friends, whenever we talk about things we hope to do in the future, I have gotten into the habit of saying that maybe I will do whatever it is ‘before I depart from this earth.’ My friends think I am kidding. But I am not kidding. I wish I were kidding.