Thoughts On Aging

A macro photograph of a colourful cake with a number three candle.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a relatively nice day—don’t have huge complaints or worries about it.

But it was an obvious reminder of 1) my mortality; and 2) aging.

The concept of time is very obtuse to me. I don’t quite understand it. This is how I feel about birthdays.

Age is a nebulous thing to me. I often forget how old I am not because I think I’m older or younger than I am—it’s just difficult for me to believe my age is some way to explain my growth or experience.

Because your age doesn’t define the experiences you have.

Where I live, it’s illegal to buy alcohol under the age of 19; it is illegal to drive under the age of 16; and yet these are not definitive of people’s experiences. Kids under 19 drink, and kids under 16 have had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car.

I guess it’s just really hard for me to understand how so many actions can be defined or justified by our orbit around a giant ball of blazing gas. That’s the real gist of this post. I don’t get it. I don’t understand how age denotes maturity, experience, or qualification.

Like, yeah, of course I’m not going to say that 10-year-olds are mature, experience, and qualified enough to drive a car. When it’s in the younger years, the pre-pubescent years, the years where you need to buy new shoes because your feet keep growing—that’s different.

But now, post-pubescent and reaching a point of—dare I say it—stasis and decay… My age really shouldn’t matter too much. How old someone is doesn’t say how smart they are, how much they know about something, how experienced they are with it. Hell, I started working with HTML and CSS when I was 13, but I’m not going to tout 7+ years of experience—because no employer would look at my age and believe me. They wouldn’t believe I would’ve been self-teaching in different skills throughout my teenage years. Because, for some reason, your teenage years get discredited. What you do in your teens somehow doesn’t have the same impact as what you did after you turned 18 or after you started post-secondary school.

I hate liminal stages in life. Between infancy and childhood. Between childhood and teen. Between teen and young adult. Between young adult and adult. Between adult and elder.

I’m between young adult and adult, and I don’t like it, and there isn’t much I can do about the people who judge me based on 1) how old I am; or 2) how old I look.

Anyway, happy birthday to me. Another package of seasons in my life have passed by.