A lot of times, we may catch ourselves feeling or saying that we are old. But, we’re not, really. In the United States, there are some milestones that come with age. When you turn 18, you’re an adult, able to vote, and no longer need parental consent. This newfound freedom kind of gets to people’s head sometimes and they end up breaking the law or getting that tattoo they have wanted for years. When you turn 20, you realize that you are no longer a teenager. An era that consisted of puberty and adulthood all in one. When you turn 21, you are able to purchase alcoholic beverages and you get annoyed every time someone asks for your I.D. You party like it is someone’s birthday every day. Then, after that, nothing. After you have overcome these milestones, you consider yourself old. Other milestones are getting married, having kids, dirty thirty. Things that “old” people do. But, these milestones don’t happen in order. Some teenagers are already married, some teenagers already have kids. Are they old? Not necessarily. Just because you don’t have the latest app, know the current slang, or know how to dab, does NOT make you old. You’re never old. Perhaps you are older than someone else, but you are still young. Seniors aren’t old people, they are elders. I mean, don’t be rude.
And sometimes we consider ourselves old as a way to excuse ourselves. I’m sorry youngster, I can’t do that, I’m too old. Say that to the sixtysomething year old running a marathon. Adults: age doesn’t have to be something you apologize for. There are some adults that have the heart and spirit of people half their age. They still go to social gatherings, make jokes, eat frosting off the spoon, and sing like no one is watching. When we call ourselves old, we also make it sound like a bad thing. I’m sorry for all the years of experience I have acquired that have shaped me as a person. Like. What? With age also comes pressures. This is why you see twentysomething year olds saying, I’m not in a relationship so I’m going to be alone forever. Okay. Sure.
This perception is also fueled by young people reminding people of their age. You know, the one’s that say, “You’re so old,” “Do you have a senior discount?” “Okay, ma’am,” or constantly ask, “How old are you?” Last time I checked, we are not aging backwards. The same kids that make fun or poke at elderly people will have the roles reversed. Something that contributes is technology. This is something that seems to consume the minds of many people, including younger populations. And then you are left to see teenagers get angry when parents need help checking their emails. They can’t check their emails not because they are old, but because they have prioritized other things in life that don’t include staying glued to their phones. You know, like paying a mortgage. You know, the roof over your head.
So, you’re not old. You are just aging. And that is a part of growing up.