Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling....old

A couple of days ago I woke up with Taylor Swifts' "22" stuck in my head. It's a tune that can easily ear worm itself into your head. And well, the truth is, I often do feel like I'm 22. Except I'm not. It's been a long time since I've actually been 22. The fact is, to a 22-year-old, I'm probably ancient.

Getting old isn't a bad thing. It means you're alive, you've lived, you've survived, and hopefully, you've become wiser and well-seasoned. Feeling old sucks. It means your joints sometimes creak when you get up after sitting for a long time, your head has or has started to get a crown of grey hair, you remember things that happened 10 years ago better than what happened an hour ago, and you find yourself espousing the virtues of the clothes in a window display only to look up, horrified to see the name of that clothing store you used to think was for old ladies.

I had a milestone birthday this year. One of the ones that they actually make specific greeting cards for. I'm not someone who lies or has issues about her age, but this one really hit me. Some days I feel I'm still a teen, most days I forget how old I really am, and there are some rare occasions I feel even older. Several of my friends have or will be having the same milestone this year, and the one thing I've noticed is that we've all had a hard time grappling with it, for a variety of reasons. Some thought they'd be in a different place professionally and/or personally, some don't like the wrinkles they now see in the mirror, some just don't like the box being a certain age puts you in. But pretty much universally, having this new number attached to our age has led to some self-reflection.

I don't think I look my age. Although my super oily skin is something I've struggled with since my teens, it has come with the side benefit of making me look younger, and remaining relatively free of wrinkles. It hasn't hurt that I started using eye cream in high school. And that getting older usually means your vision gets blurrier, a "Vaseline on the lens" gift from Mother Nature, so you usually don't notice small imperfections that easily. :)  Being a pop culture lover has also come with the side benefit of slowing down the process of feeling old and out of touch. Thanks to broad pop culture loves, I can easily have a conversation with someone 10 or more years younger than me about shared love for a TV show, actor, or musical act. But I've officially hit that age that despite the fact I may not look or always act my age, some people will look at or treat me differently when they find out how old I really am.

At the end of the day, you're only as old as you feel. And if I'm being honest, I have found myself quoting Roger Murtaugh on more than one occasion recently.

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