Old(er)

A few weeks ago at work some ladies were chatting in our lunchroom about weddings. One of them had just gotten engaged and they were all planplanplansqueeee! And my knee jerk reaction was to join in on the squee-ing. “Yay WEDDINGS!” But they didn’t even look over in my direction. And I sort of kept waiting for them to look up and then I could chime in on how I couldn’t wait to get married either and how when I got engaged I hoped for this ring and I wanted my wedding colors to be this and that and oh my gosh it’s going to be so awesome let me see your ring again squeeeee!

Oh wait. I walked out of the kitchen remembering that at the office I’m the lady who just had a baby. People are always surprised that I am not in my mid 30s. Possibly this is because the vision of “ye who has babies” is an older person than I am. Especially in the Bay Area. I’m choosing to believe it is not because I look older than my years, but sometimes I wonder. When I walked out of the kitchen that day I had this realization that I’m no longer that person. You know the one – early 20s, still more attached to my parents than I am to myself, my entire adult life stretched out before me. I still have my entire adult life stretched out before me. I’m only 28, so this whole “I’m so old!” bit is a little ridiculous. But I am old-er. Older than I was yesterday or last year. Older than I was when I had Gabe. Older. And I’ve always been the youngest. The youngest person in my first job after college, the second youngest person in my grad school class. Young looking, fresh faced, youthful.

Last week someone at work was looking at a picture of Kamel and I and they said, “Wow, he looks so young!” He’ll be 31 in September. My knee-jerk reaction was to wonder, “If they are surprised with how young he looks, what does that mean about how old they think I look?”

People say that we grow and grow and grow until we hit that age in our minds where we will always be forever and ever. We age in years but who we are on the inside stays the same. Maybe I am nearing that age, maybe it has just recently passed, maybe it is right now. I’m not totally sure. Maybe I’ll look back on this time and realize: that was it, that was the moment where my internal clock turned off. Maybe I will always be 28 in my head.

I keep forgetting I am 28. Sometimes I am 29. Sometimes I am 27, 26. When someone asks me how old I am most of the time it takes me a second to remember. Did you know that 1993 was 20 years ago? That there are actual people BORN in the 90s? And those people are LEGAL ADULTS? I still can’t believe it.

I found a cluster of 3 grey hairs last weekend and I thought, “No! Not yet! I’m not ready!” But I keep forgetting, nobody asked me.

 

14 thoughts on “Old(er)”

  1. I’m terrible at remembering how old I am. Once in university I actually remember calling my mom, all freaked out, because I just couldn’t remember for the life of me. In the past few years I’ve gotten a little bit better at it, and I wonder the same: am I coming to an age where I’m most comfortable feeling myself?

    There’s also an element of just placing less weight on age. The next time my age matters is when I turn old enough to retire and collect a pension, all the other years between then and now seem relatively the same. There’s no turning sixteen and being old enough to drive, or turning 19 and being old enough to drink, or 21 for special lines at the bars coming up. The markers in adult life are less tied to age and more tied to individual markers like weddings and careers and families, and we all reach them at very different times.

  2. I get you on the feeling of feeling a certain way and not really feeling like you “age” every year because inside you feel more or less like the same person, with differences.
    You definitely look young, and I think you always will, because of your facial feautures and your always happy, sparkly eyes…

  3. I feel like this all of the time! I do or say something ridiculous (or, you know, go skipping down the street while wearing a flouncy skirt), and then i think to myself “Self, you are almost 30. You are a professional. You are married. You have grey hairs. Maybe its time to start acting a little more mature…”

    And then I think “nahhhhhhhh” and go put on Monsters, Inc.

  4. I can never remember how old I am. I always have to stop and think about it. I will probably regret saying this one day, but I seriously can’t wait to hit 30. I am tired of being one of the “young ins” in the office, of people finding out my age and actually gasping. My mom apparently LOVED turning 30. I feel like I’ll be right there with her.

  5. I love this. What a beautiful piece of writing.

    I have always wanted to be older. I sometimes wonder if 30 will feel old enough, when I get there. Or will 60 be the magic number? I just hope I never start wishing I had enjoyed a certain age more. So far, so good.

  6. It’s so strange to realize that you aren’t one of the young ones any more. I’ve been working in offices since I was in high school, and for the longest time I was the youngest – at first by decades, then by years. Then I started working for law firms and I was the same age as the first year associates, just out of the law school. And now they are usually younger than me, sometimes now a decade younger than me. It’s not bad, it’s weird – to have thought of yourself one way for so long and then, suddenly, for it no longer to be true.

    Generally on age, I do always keep in mind one of those great Dowager Countess (from Downton Abbey) quotes that went something like: “One is young much longer than one thinks”. My grandmother is 91. I hope to make it to her age, and when I look back, 35 most certainly will be young. Sometimes I need that perspective!

  7. A few weeks ago Jeff and I were at a family thing of his. He has a lot of aunts and uncles and littler cousins, and we were talking to one of his aunts and she was saying how she and her son (who is 11 or 12) were talking about growing up and at what age he should get married or have kids of his own and she said, “We agreed that 28 was a good age to get married and start thinking about kids…” pause… “How old are you two, again?”

    UMMMMM.

    In some ways I feel like I am in the opposite boat as you. Everyone else my age is married/engaged and buying houses (here, at least!) or having babies. I wish time would stop for a second and let me catch up.

  8. Ive always been the young spirited one of all my groups of friends. Im that one Maris described, skipping down the street in a flouncy skirt, and i will ALWAYS be that person, no matter how old I am. Maybe because i dont care how ridiculous i look from the outside? I def feel old-er, as you described. Like when Im around my nieces, who are growing like weeds, and im no longer the little aunt who plays with them, but the aunt who pops her head in the room where they are all huddled up and gossiping, asking for the latest scoop. That use to be me and my cousins! Aaahh! But at the same time, it drives me bonkers when my friends say “im too old for that”. NO ONE in their 20’s-or even 30’s, etc!- is too old for anything they want to do! NOT EVEN THE JUMPY HOUSE! You get your butt in there!! Its good cardio. I would hate for me or my friends to grow old and look back and regret thinking and feeling like they were ‘old’ back then! Lifes too short to speed up natures process by tricking your brain into thinking youre any older than you are. My 50+ year old clients (who bust out burpees like its nobodys business, and are training for the NWM!!) are always telling us, do it all while you physically still can! Run, jump, skip, play, BE SILLY and ridiculous while you still can, because that day where your body wont allow you to will come quick. Those clients always tell us that we will keep them young forever…but i think its the other way around =)

  9. What an interesting perspective. I know what you mean… Many of my friends are either single or in long term relationships but not engaged or planning to get married (any time soon). Being relatively newly engaged (squee!) has put me “ahead” of some other friends in ways I didn’t expect. But at the same time I identify with Margosita – sometimes it seems like everybody else is doing all these “grown up adult life things” and by nature of being in graduate school (here we go 4th year!) some parts of my life are essentially on pause. Like the saving for/buying a house part. And a lot of friends are going through that process right now so it’s easy to feel left behind in some ways. And certainly having a kid seems to propel you into a new category that’s somehow separate from your “actual age.”

  10. PEOPLE BORN IN THE 90s WHO ARE ADULTS. This always shocks me! hahahaha

    The age gap between me and our admin staff (always uni students) just keeps getting bigger and bigger but it wasn’t until now that I have really felt the difference!

    As the oldest sibling in my family (and 2nd oldest cousin on my mum’s side), I’ve always felt like I was older with my family but younger in the real world. Although now I get frustrated that people think I am “so young” to be a lawyer etc. I still get asked for ID all the time which is flattering I guess, because apparently I don’t look almost 30 but it’s also a disadvantage cos I find people don’t take me seriously.

  11. Catching up on the blog posts. My story relating to age (since you like stories!!): about 2 months ago my husband and I went out to eat in Willow Glen. Fine dining at its best. Comparable to any place in the city. We get seated. I browse over the cocktail menu because that’s the first thing I do when I go out to eat without baby. Waitress comes over, takes our drink order, then looks at me and asks for my ID. Now…you may think this is a humble brag story but it really isn’t (and I’ll go on to explain why). I forgot my ID that night, my husband didn’t. The manager came over to resolve the issue. He went on to apologize and explain they had a policy…yada yada yada. They couldn’t serve me without an ID. I nodded with a polite smile while my insides were stewing with rage.

    After he left my husband saw my face change and tried to make me feel better. ‘It’s a compliment’…he said. Didn’t help a thing. The reason why I was offended and continue to be whenever I’m ID’d: With age comes wisdom from all the good and bad experiences. The person I was in my early and mid 20s was a hot mess. I learned some tough lessons and grew up to become the responsible human being and mother I am today. I’m happy to be 29. So when I get ID’d because I look like I’m not old enough to drink…I feel like I’m being looked at as the immature, lost, selfish girl I used to be. And the pride of being the age I am and the struggles I had to go through to grow up get swept aside with that one question.

    Sure I probably have a chip on my shoulder about it. And I understand when restaurant staff ask me this question they aren’t passing the judgements that are in my head. But I still find it insulting. There was a time I got flattered by that question. Now it’s a bit haunting.

    Looking your age, or older, is a good thing. People probably find you more reliable, dependable, responsible, and all the other positive descriptive adjectives reserved for an adult. I’m starting to think I should leave in the white hairs I find instead of yanking them out. It might ‘age’ me more.

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