I’ve been thinking a lot lately about age and getting older. When is it exactly that you become old, or does it ever even happen? I am 26 years old, past quarter-life, out of the young adult bracket of 18-25, and now I am simply a full fledged adult till I reach middle age. One a website where people judge you simply by a picture you can post; the average user that I was 16 years old. And not to mention I a few weeks ago I was carded when buying tickets to an R rated movie (don’t even ask about alcohol). So age is not something that can be determined by looks alone. At age 16, I can say I was pretty inexperienced in the world. I was just getting my first job, developing my own personal sense of style, changing my friends, beginning to imagine a career, and in a year I’d have my first kiss. Sixteen in my case, as in many people around my age, was the starting point of feeling old.
Sixteen and younger, I think is the one time when you are truly craving to be old. When you are a young child, you just can’t wait to meet someone younger, just to brag to them that you’re older, even if its only by a few months. That’s because older people have the power. Older people are bigger and can push you down, older people make the rules. After sixteen the lure of older people starts to disappear, and they simply become a nuisance, an obstacle in the way. Sure there are the many, many older kids scouring for fake ids just for a sip or a puff, but I was never one of those. And of course there are the older boys, but that’s a whole other story. But after sixteen you start to get a taste of what becomes behind that power, yes the dreaded responsibility, and that’s when you start feeling old, when things are suddenly becoming expected of you. That’s why kids let loose so much in college, because they fear it will be the last chance they ever get, once they leave they will be too old.
Now about those boys. When I was 18 towards the end of high school, I started dating someone eight years older. To me I never really felt an age difference between us. Sure I was felt a little weird telling people how old he was, because I knew it would cause a reaction, but I really never felt like he was that much older than me. In fact I always felt leaps and bounds more mature than him. We stayed together four years, during that time I went to college, traveled to Italy and England, moved out of my parents house, paid bills, and started to consider marriage. While he stayed at his mom’s smoking pot and playing grand theft auto. In the end he broke up with me simply because I was cutting into his mary jane time with his friends. Sometimes I wonder if his friends ever told him I was too young for him, I wonder how he’d answer. While dating I never felt like I was, or that he was too old for me. Of course he was, but really only on a matter of age. We were on two completely different levels and age had nothing to do with it. Maybe it was because I wasn’t old enough to have all my hopes crash around me. I always had a strange feeling like he was jealous of the way I was getting older. Now at 26, just a little older than he was when we started dating, I think that I could never in a bajillion years date someone 8 years younger than me, four or five years sounds inconceivable. But I guess gender does play a big role in aging and maturity. They don’t make barely legal porn for girls after all.
Now that I am 26 I’m starting to feel old, but at the same time I really don’t feel old at all. For example, I have a job where I am the youngest person in my office. I interact with women more than ten years older than me on a daily basis. I fight of the thermometer, since they are having hot flashes and they think 63 degrees is too hot. I converse with them on the same level. Sometimes I’m jealous of their experience, their husbands, families, houses lives, but I know that I will get there soon. And well they are all jealous of my ability to stay up later than 11:30 on a week night. I feel old, I hate waking up every morning at 6:30, its impossible I’m lucky I get out of bed at 7:30 when I need to be at work at 8. I feel responsible, I feel the need to help other people, I haven’t listened to modern music in years, or watched MTV for that matter, I don’t give a crap about Twilight, but Harry Potter’s cool. I miss writing research papers for school. I drink coffee. When I go out I get coffee with alcohol in it. I find myself thinking “kids these days…” I like updating my facebook status and reading other’s people thoughts, but I don’t use it to wage war or to make my friend’s jealous. I don’t understand why people create internet dram, but I’m still hurt when I’m the target. I love, love, love hello kitty. Hello Kitty forever, but I like being able to find more classy and sophisticated Hello Kitty items. I love that she can grow up with me. I had to move back home, and I tell my mom where I’m going all the time. But I pay rent to her, while paying credit card and cell phone bills and making car and insurance payments, while still trying to save up a large amount of money before I move out again. I’m a realistic dreamer. I’m a part time grad student. I want to punch Alexis Blidel in the face. I buy shoes and I donate my old pairs. I write to-do lists in pink glittery pen. I like to play pokemon and crossword puzzles. One day I’ll read this, and think “god I was so young back then.”
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