I'll admit it.
I never thought I was, but I'm an ageist.
In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I was excited, until I was just a few days away from the day. Then I started feeling really old. The first thing that happened was I was at the gym on the elliptical and it asked my age. When I put in 26 I got embarrassed because I knew the girls next to me were probably 19 or 20. I felt really old. I kind of giggled, but still typed the age in quickly, more quickly than my weight, and thought about how I'll feel REALLY old when I'm 27!! The day before my birthday was even worse. It seemed like nothing was going right. On our way out to celebrate in Orlando, we got lost twice. I hate being lost. I got this (dramatic, likely unnecessary) sense of foreboding. Like this was a harbinger of horrible things to come in my 27th year. See what I mean by dramatic?
For some reason, and I've discussed this with a few other 27-year-olds, this is the first year our age sounds ancient to us. 18 I was excited because I could finally vote, 21 I was glad to be able to drink in public because I could finally be carded (which due to this baby face I will apparently be experiencing for at least 5 more years... I got mistaken for a high schooler twice this summer and an undergrad more times than I can count in the last year). 25 sounded cool and worldly, 26 was getting up there but still pretty cool. 27? That's the year my mom completed her first year of marriage and had her first child, me. Obviously an AMAZING year for her. It must be so cool to have a child and have her to turn out to be me. Lololol.
As you can see my confidence wasn't shaken during this time of uneasiness. I go back and forth between feeling too old and knowing my face makes me look too young to get some respect on campus. Oh and don't let me ask a question! Students who have answers on campus are usually snotty about giving them. Their first taste of power. I like to flip it on them and subtly give it back and they usually back down. That's kind of funny. I felt glad to be 27 in the class I'm assisting because in the exercise we were doing the other day where they were pitching their story ideas, it was good for them to have experience to bounce them off of.
I think I'm mostly past the temporary ageism which only exists for people who are 27 (and my old boyfriend) now. Mostly because I've been 27 for more than 2 weeks and there are more pressing issues to deal with than something I can't change. I have no effect on my relentless schedule for the next few weeks, really through October, but it makes more sense for me to be concerned about that than my impending death. Lol. I promise it really had nothing to do with that. I did wonder whether I had accomplished enough so far. I also simultaneously realized how crazy that sounded to someone 34 and 55 as were the people I discussed it with. Even a few years gives you perspective. Life is long and short at the same time. What has happened to me so far may or may not effect what happens to me in the future, but as long as I don't stop trying to change the world, like I've always have, I have plenty of time.