I’m in this really weird place right now; maybe you’ve been there (are there) too. This “place” is where I feel like I am getting so old (so quickly) but at the same time I still feel so young. One moment I’m all like, “YES, Lion King is on!” And in that same split second, “Oh dear, it looks like it’s going to get over at 9:30… Kinda late… Probably should just DVR it tonight.”
I’m a walking contradiction who is feeling very young/old… yold. I’m feeling very yold. I just made up a new word – - Is that a young thing or old thing? This is all so perplexing. (Yep, perplexing).
Here are things that have made me feel extremely old recently:
My body is starting to reject me. I’m all, “Let’s pull an all-nighter and watch Seasons 1-3 of “Breaking Bad” tonight!” While my body is all, “Ha, you’re going to fall asleep. Sitting straight up. With your glasses on. In about 2.46 seconds.”
I now have heartburn? I phrased this as a question because I always just thought people were over exaggerating about heartburn. “It couldn’t possibly be that bad,” I would say. Oh, but it is. Pretty much feels like your organs are trying to kill you from the inside out. NBD. My knees feel creaky. I’ve plucked 4 grey hairs. I take vitamins. I’m dipping myself in a vat of moisturizer daily to avoid future wrinkle lines. WHO AM I?
Every so often, I attempt revenge on my body – - Simply to keep the hierarchy intact and to make sure my body still knows who the top dog is around here. So, I’ll go on a tequila bender. “What now, body! Suck it!” Meanwhile, my body is all, “Yeah? Have fun with the three-day hangover I’m about to give you.” Damnit.
I’m not always trying to conquer my body… I also feel extremely old when I don’t care about staying home on the weekends. I’ll cancel on my friends. And the hell of it is, they don’t care either. I’ll get a response like, “Yeah, I’m pretty tired too. Probably going to call it a night. Maybe grab some brunch tomorrow?”
Double red flags here – - First, we’re both more relieved we’re going to bed rather than “hitting the town”. Secondly, we now grab things like “brunch”.
Things I Say
I’ve found myself saying things that make me do a double take…”Wait, what did I just say?”
- “What is with kids nowadays??”
- “Why is the music SO LOUD IN HERE?”
- “Damnit! I missed Jeopardy.”
- “How is this hotdog so expensive? It’s a hotdog.”
- “Oh, you need the forecast? I’m pretty well read on my weatherchannel.com action.”
I wish I was kidding about any of those.
Now, my calendar is no longer filled with swiggly lines & hearts, or birthday reminders for every single friend I’ve ever had, or “countdowns” to vacations. Now, my calendar is full of work meetings, doctor appointment reminders, and it’s definitely not hand-written anymore. This much “colder” calendar can be found within the iPhone attached to my aging hip.
Long gone are the days of being “carefree”. I worry about… just about everything. I’ve apparently turned into a crazy worrier. Some of you who have known me for a while are probably saying, “Stace, you’ve always been a worrier. This isn’t new.”
I worry about the future. I guess everyone probably worries about that though. I worry that I’m not saving enough money for the future. I worry that the shoes I just bought that make me walk funny are going to cause some permanent damage but they are so cute. I can’t stop wearing them. I’m worried that the planet is running out of fresh water so I don’t run the water as much – - For example, when I’m doing dishes or brushing my teeth, I turn the water off in between (Alright, I’m seriously losing it. Right? I have to stop watching these crazy documentaries).
Here’s an example of how the media makes me worry. Today on MSN‘s homepage, this story caught my eye:
Awesome. Thanks, MSN.
I worry about my parents getting older. I worry about my friend’s parents getting older. I worry about my sister. I worry about my job. I worry about my friend’s jobs. I worry about whether or not Girls on HBO is going to be picked up for another season (Just kidding, there’s no way they aren’t getting picked up for another season). Obviously, I’m just a fucking mess. These things weren’t on my mind years ago, even just a few short years ago!
I miss the days when what I worried about the most was who would be in the same lunch hour as me in high school… Actually, screw that. That also sucked.
If you’ve stuck it out thus far through this posting – - Thank you. Did you really think I was going to end this posting on such a dark and depressing note? You did, didn’t you? C’mon.
These mini freak-outs that I have (semi-regularly) about getting older usually lead me to want answers. Why do I feel like this? Does everyone feel like this? Am I literally crazy? Usually, I ask and answer these questions myself, and my thoughts are pretty unreasonable. All I know is that I have to stop freaking out every time I have one of these quarter-life crisis moments. And really, these moments are not necessarily a completely terrible thing.
So, here is my answer(s). I think the reason why most twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel some sort of pressure to be a certain way at 21, or 25, or 28, or 30, etc. (Oh, God… don’t even get me started on 30). These ages all represent invisible deadlines that we have given ourselves regarding careers, love, family, etc. “I can’t get drunk and throw up anymore, I’m 25!” “I need to be in a serious relationship by 27.” “I need to have a baby by 30.”
We put all of this pressure on ourselves which results in a whole lotta’ guilt for essentially just acting our age. Movies, TV, magazines, friends, teachers, and parents have all made us obsessed with the idea of being domesticated and having our shit together. It makes me sad to think that we are always so caught up in this stuff that we miss out on the other stuff. Other stuff = Our actual youth. By being so focused on doing everything THE RIGHT WAY, we are skipping out on doing things in the wrong way. Which could end up being the best way of all.
George Bernard Shaw (and every other person in the world) probably said it best: Youth is wasted on the young.
But you know what? I’m not going to fall into this cliché – - And neither should you.