You are only as old as you feel.
Age is a funny thing.
If you were to look at me, you would likely think I am much younger than my 28 trips around the sun. I have become accustomed to being ID’d at the liquor store and, unfortunately, have been the recipient of ageism in the professional sphere. (small side rant: I am always shocked and annoyed at the way pernicious ageism rears its head, undermining my professional credibility and potentially impacting my opportunities. end rant).
However, if age is truly how you feel, my timeline has been anything but chronological.(Note: this post reflect my biases as to what the “timing” and “expectations” are for individuals at certain ages, but I am not saying that this is the right or only way).
As a rather precocious teen, I always thought I had an old soul. Prone to introspection and reflection, I always felt older than my peers. I eschewed top 40s pop, preferring classical music instead, and read the newspaper most mornings at the library instead of Cosmo, in so doing exchanged my teens for a taste of my middle age.
However, as I hit university, I fell into step with my confederates. I was 19 through and through, a full participant in elaborate theme parties, midnight grocery shopping trips, and was very much in-step with the “work hard, play hard” university motto.
I started a “real person job” right after graduation, and felt as though I immediately turned 25. Too much second-hand ikea furniture, mismatched utensils, and ability to occasionally hit “da club” and dance the night away to be considered a full-grown adult, but still old enough to have very short conversations about mortgage rates, loan repayment strategies, benefits, and RRSPs.
I have also made tiny steps towards adulthood in the last year, which included a move to the suburbs and a discovery of how pleasant it is to spend Friday nights at home, sipping tea, and reading books.
But something happened this week. Something that has aged my soul in ways I never knew possible, sucked the zest from my bones and vigor from my body. The kind of emotional shock and loss that instantly ages you. All of a sudden, I feel as though I have aged a decade, or maybe a century. I am bone-weary and dead tired.
I know a piece of my youthful effervescence has been lost forever, but I hope as I heal, I will re-discover the inner exuberance of youth and reclaim what has been lost.