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When Did I Get So Old?

July 28, 2011
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Originally posted 27 July 2009

So, before I have to deal with all of my friends commenting on this blog post with reminders of how old I am not, let me just say, I know. I know I’m not older than any of you and I know I’m still young in the grand scheme of things.
My titular question has more to do with how old I feel, rather than my actual age in years. I recently found myself at a party surrounded by a few people that I was pretty sure were mentally unwell. Turns out they’re just young. What a relief. Here I thought I was in a room full of over-sexed morons. I’m sure I didn’t act like these people when I was their age, a mere five years ago. There’s no way. Or did I?
That feeling we all have when we’re kids, that feeling deep inside that tells us that when we’re older, we’ll understand … that feeling has never gone away for me. With each passing birthday I expect that I’ll finally feel grown-up only to discover that I feel like I know less and less every day. I do understand that there is nothing wrong with this feeling. It is a good thing, even. The whole ‘the more you know the less you know’ thing. Humility and what not. I get it and I’ve made peace with it. But when did I start thinking 20-somethings were young, and quite frankly obnoxious? Not to mention loud. Am I right, or am I right? They are L-O-U-D. Perhaps it’s all the captilized texting and overuse of exclamation points that suddenly became the norm not so long ago. Seriously, do you have to put an exclamation point after Thanks! at the end of every email. It makes me distrust your gratitude.
But I digress. As I mentioned, I did feel relief when I learned the age of the over-sexed morons, but it felt very strange to hear myself say, “oh well that explains it”. And I meant it. Their age did fully explain to me their complete lack of self-awareness, though I doubt I would have given myself so much slack at that age.
Granted, my life has changed dramatically. Five years ago I was a swinging city singleton (okay, not really swinging, but I was single and did live in the city). Now I own house and a dog and some cats and have acquired a very lovely man with whom I will spend the rest of my days. This doesn’t make me feel old, though. On the contrary it makes me feel alive and full of more possibility than ever before imagined in my younger days.
Maybe that’s the difference. The young 20-somethings think that those are the best years of their lives. Little do they know that the best is yet to come. As soon as they stop talking so godamn LOUD, they’ll be able to hear those little voices of intuition that tell them it’s okay. It’s okay if your legs don’t look like Elle Macpherson’s. They never did and they never will. It’s okay if every boy at the party doesn’t want you. They don’t really want you, just the idea of you and you’re more than an idea. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want, so don’t waste any time trying to seem certain that you’ve got it all figured out. You don’t have to be sure about anything.
That is, until you’re my age, and then you can be sure that when you were the age you are now, you seemed like an over-sexed LOUD moron to this old lady.
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