Age Angst

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.


Rashan Jamal said...

This is what I was saying last year about the quarter life crisis... its always something to feel angsty about. In a couple years when you turn 29 and it'll be like OH NO! I'm ALMOST 30!!

Don't worry, it's gonna be alright. "Age ain't nuthin' but a number" - (Aaliyah 1994)

DaniColoredGlasses said...

I'm right there with you....two weeks out from my bday and 27 is sounding completely unsavory. More unsettling than the age is what have I accomplished in my 27 yrs? Hmm....I will continue to ward off the self-deprection, but ultimately the thoughts are there.

Anonymous said...

Look at it like this: you are like fine wine, you get better with age.

Not so Anonymous said...

lol @ it being great for your mom to have a kid that grew up to be you.

I felt this way this year when I turned 29. Never before had I been bothered about age, but knowing that I only have 10 months until I'm thirty makes my head hurt...ugh. But, I'm not will to go with the alternative either, so I'll continue to welcome the older ages i guess.

1969 said...

YAWN....I'm 40....deal with it. LMAO!!!

Seriously, everyone feels this way as the years pass them. Birthdays between 20-39 become an annual measurement of your life instead of just a celebration/party. Am I where I should be? What could I be doing better?

I loved turning 40 this year. Now I am back to celebrating life and enjoying the party. I understand that no matter what, life keeps on moving right along and all I have to do is be the best me I can.

Enjoy being 27, you will probably look back on it as a great year.

Happy Birthday!

Ladynay said...

*smh and walks away*

sandy said...

I have to admit, I went through something very similar at 27 and 28. The fact that I was no longer considered in my "mid-twenties" was a little sad. But seriously, you do have a baby face, and trust me....27 is WAY better than 30 :)

Jameil said...

rj... hush your noise. you didn't start being helpful until your 2nd paragraph.

dani... right??? i was def. all I HAVEN'T ACCOMPLISHED ENOUGH! being young is stupid mostly b/c you're too young to enjoy your youth. this is exactly why my aunt didn't enjoy her 20s and loved her 30s.

epsi... yeah in theory that works but that hasn't helped my thought processes in practice.

NSA... lol & i thought of you and alyssa when i wrote that. i guess from the outside we can see others' accomplishments. i'm like you have a great daughter! a new job in a new city you seem to like and be able to navigate relatively well! you are so right abt the alternative, tho! bring on the old!

1969... LOLOLOLOL!! HILARITY!! I was hoping you or Liz would come over and give the sitch some clarity. I guess I was mostly shocked b/c I'd never felt this way and my aunt said her 30s were AWESOME and the 20s sucked. So I thought I would keep that in mind thru my happy 20s and then LOOOOVE my 30s!! I def. think having fb hurts my cause looking at all these other people accomplishing stuff. i LOVE hearing people say they're enjoying an age i'm more than a decade away from!! keep the party going! I think it'll be a great year, too! Thanks, C!

lady... what????

sandy... my goodness! it's rampant! the late-twenties thing is ridiculous, isn't it!? You're supposed to say 30 is even better!!! Lololol.