Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Old Are You?

Person: Do you mind me asking how old you are?

Me: Uh... *pauses, looks up, face scrunches up*

Person: Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to offend don't have to answer, I was just wondering.

Me: Oh, no, it's not that at all. I don't mind. I just never remember how old I am. I'm just trying to do the math...

Person: What? *thinks "that's strange...everyone knows how old they are..."*

This is a piece of a conversation I have frequently with people (even if I have it multiple times in the same day). And yes, I honestly never remember how old I am, nor do I care to. I make myself do the math every single time, and then I immediately forget it.

Why would I do such a thing?? Isn't it easy to remember a simple number that changes every year with your birthday? I mean, I remember when my birthday is, and what year I was born. Why not my age?

Because it doesn't matter. It really doesn't. In fact, many times, it is turned into a negative thing.

Why do people want to know your age? They want to compare. They want to know what to compare you to. They want to put you in an organized category in their brain. They want to know where you're supposed to fit on the "normal" timeline.

Are you in your 20's? You should be either in university or getting yourself a really good job right out of college. Lots of partying and drinking. You are unaware of how little you actually know.

30's? You should be married and probably have a kid or two. A house. Stability. A good career. You should like craft beers and wine.

40's? Definitely married, with kids, house, cars, 401k, and stock options. Successful in your life. Debt-free. Lots of wine, for some reason.

50's? Kids should be graduating from high school, maybe even college. You should have a ton of money saved up, enjoy the finer things in life, despite paying for your kids' college tuitions, go on a nice vacation every year. Cigars and whiskey are a thing now.

60's? Retired, traveling, playing golf, fishing....

Oh shit, you're still 0.4 kids. 
And where's the dog and the white picket fence??
C'mon, Jones', get your shit together!! 

You get what I mean. It's all pre-conceived bullshit that we are conditioned to believe as reality and truth. But the thing is, who actually lives their life in this timeline? And why would you? Does it make you happy? Does it serve YOUR purpose in life? What do you WANT in life? Why does it matter WHEN you achieve it? Why does it matter what other people think you're SUPPOSED to be/do at "this time" of your life?

When there are comparisons involved, there's always a winner and a loser. It's easy to get caught up in being either. Most often, there are more losers than there are winners. People are envious of someone else's life at particular age, even though they were perfectly happy with their lives before they made the comparison. If you don't fit where you think you're supposed to be on the timeline, you may also get a bit depressed and feel a little less self-worth, even if you enjoy your current lifestyle.

People will use age as an excuse to do or not do things:

"You're 80, you're not supposed to be able to get around that easily"
"You're 25, you're not supposed to have a good job that makes good money yet"
"You're 37, you're not supposed to travel freely yet"
"You're 32, you should be married and having kids"
"You're 18, you should be in university, studying"
"You're 41, you should have a solid retirement fund and stock options"

All negative. All based on what people THINK you should or shouldn't do. Not what you WANT for your life.

Oh, you're 70? You're definitely NOT supposed to be doing stuff like pullups. 
But you ARE supposed to have conditions like Parkinson's. 
And that's definitely supposed to stop you from living your life like you want to.

Unless you're able to use age as a POSITIVE association (like "I'm 80 and I can STILL climb 5 flights of stairs without stopping!"or "I'm only 22 and I already have $10k in my retirement fund!"), I'd say forget your real age. Pick an age or an age range where you mentally and emotionally felt like you were the best. Be that. Think you're that.

I'm somewhere between 22-26. I had a lot of fun during that time. I felt great physically, mentally, and emotionally. I did a lot of dumb things then, too, but that doesn't matter. I just felt awesome. So now, since I think I'm still in that time of my life emotionally, I can allow myself to continue feeling like that mentally, emotionally and physically. I mean, I don't do all the dumb things I did back then, I just have the self-appreciation I had for myself back then. Applying that with the amount of maturity and sense of responsibility I've gained in the X number of years since that time allows me to "be an adult" but still think of myself and life as when I was on top of the world. I can continue to be on top of the world :)

Life is all about perspective. How old are you? Who cares? You're happy, you're healthy, you're good to yourself. That's all that matters.

PLAY on, my friends.

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