I get this a lot: “How old are you?” My response nearly always: “Ermm…twentyyyy…three? No, wait, twenty-four. Wait, is that right? When was I born?” Cue the shocked expression on the person’s face and the usual line, “Wow. You seemed older!”
Everyone says it and the people who don’t haven’t been in a room with me long enough. Growing up I always took it as a compliment. I had a sense of being more mature than what my real age defined me as, but lately, I’m not so sure what my real age is supposed to act like.
I’ve always seemed older than my age, it was inevitable because I hung around my sisters (with a ten year age difference) all the time and last year, I drove three children around all year. For much of 2016, my mindset had gone from living the life of a twentysomething to a thirtysomething.
In the past, I’ve always gravitated toward older people. By older people, I mean anyone at least two years above my age. Actually, I enjoy spending most of my time with people who are at least ten years older than myself. This isn’t intentional, it just happens.
For a while, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I enjoyed classic film noirs and singing with my Grandma’s Czech singer group. I’d rather style my hair with a 40s curl than straightening it so it would hang blandly stick-straight. In college, I found out what a hangover feels like and now I drink tons of water in hopes to avoid the Saturday morning blues. There are routines—even on Saturday—that must be followed! I get told often that I’m an old lady trapped in a young woman’s body, which is probably true. So I cannot help feeling a little ashamed when people point out my age in shock. What’s wrong with me? Why am I so boring and old?
It was when I met my partner that I really came to the understanding that age doesn’t matter. We are all going on journeys and some ages by generalization are more immature than others. You could say I’m an old soul, but I have my young, immature moments too. It isn’t the number that should define maturity, it’s about the choices we make in life.
Every person has a unique perspective on life whether they are older or younger than myself. Some more positive than others. I enjoy chatting with my sister about her faith-filled journey as we spot moments of grace. I enjoy hanging out with friends who go to knitting shows with me, all the while we laugh at the crazy quilters running around picking their fabric. I will even happily sit with a beer in my hand socializing with friends of all ages at a show.
So, maybe I do gravitate toward older people, but that doesn’t make me more or less immature than before. Everyone is at a different place on their life journey and for all I care, my journey is ageless.