Recently I came across a personal situation where I was told that I was ‘too old’ and it really frustrated me. I felt angry and sad but it also make me question if I was really too old.
I am going to turn 34 this year and here is the trick: I do not look like 34. On most days people think I am 22. When they hear me speak and how I express myself they can give me 25. I frequently get ID to the point. I believe this is mostly due to my genes as my mother has always looked young. When she turned 50, all my school friends called me a liar because she clearly looked in her early 40s. I am also black and consequently the melanin keep me wrinkles free at the moment.
I personally do not see it…I do not know which age to give myself. But most importantly, I do not feel it. I do not understand how time has passed by. It feels like yesterday I was in my early twenties and last week I was a ten year old jumping on my bed, and wondering what will be the next episode of my favourite cartoon.
I believe that is mostly because of where I am in my life at the moment. For me a 34 years old woman will be married with one kid and maybe another one on the way. She will be working as an executive in a company and will juggle career and family life while navigating mortgage payment, holidays bookings, school baking events and dignified brunches with women in the same age as her .*apologies for the stereotypes*
However, this is not my reality.
I am not married. I do not even have a boyfriend. I have no children and do not have enough time to look after a pet. I rent my little flat and the word mortgage give me chills. I do not own a car and still struggle to keep money in my saving account. Although I am an assistant manager in a prominent law firm, I am not really where I thought I will be at this age.
So my life feels more like a 25 years old’ life.
I am responsible in terms that I pay my bills on time and go to work. But I usually spent my time socialising with teenagers as a youth leader, binge shows on Netflix, travelling and thinking about what item of fashion I am going to buy next. I try to adult in the best way I can, but I am not too sure if I am doing a good job at it. Well I think I do. Since I am alive, I must be doing something right. Whereas others are getting married, and posting baby announcements on Facebook , I am looking at memes and funny videos on social media.
I do ask other people in their thirties if they feel their age. They have the same answers as me, especially those who have children. They do not feel as accomplished adults and it looks like no one is really sure if they are handling situations well or if they know what they are doing. So in a sense, we are all in the same boat: quite unsure about this ‘we are getting older’ thing.
So maybe it is just the way it is and age is really just a number as they say. You are as old as you feel. Feel? I am not necessarily the ‘feeling’ type, but it is true that life does not have to be dull as you get older and become more swarmed by new or bigger responsibilities.
It is not useful as well that our modern society gives us mixed messages about ageing. Apparently you have to embrace ageing but also fight it.
The truth is I believe I got better with age on so many levels (I know, humblebrag).
My body looks its best and my metabolism is still very fast. Since I went back to my natural hair texture I have been appreciating the way my hair looks. My skin has finally cleared up and don’t get me started on the confidence level *Hallelujah*. I am so much more comfortable with myself. In my twenties I tried to figure out who I was, in my thirties I am finally settling into who I am. So many things I used to worry about in my twenties does not bother me now.
Can we really use our age as an excuse to not continue to enjoy life, to believe, to create?There are so many examples of people out there who reached their success and accomplished amazing things in their 40s, 50s,60s and beyond. Life is what you make it to be, at the end of the day.
So although my body will get slower and my energy levels will decrease at a certain point, I will not use my age as an excuse to not enjoy my life. I will not have a crisis about getting older. I refuse.
Life doesn’t stop as you age. The fun doesn’t stop at 29.
It is just a different chapter, different challenges, different opportunities and different difficulties.
Life is short and getting older is a privilege denied to many. As long as God woke you up this morning, you still have purpose.
Make your life an adventure, not a chore.