February 22, 2012 § 1 Comment
My little sister just turned the Big 18. Now she can legally vote and buy cigs. And it got me a thinking–we’re never really ready for the next year. What’s weird is we have no idea what it will feel like. We make assumptions about growing up and getting older, yet we have no idea what the truth is until we get there:
We feel the same.
When you’re younger you think that when you get to a certain age, say 30 or 40, that it’ll feel this way or that. That somehow life will feel different. That you’ll know more than you did on your 28th birthday than you did the day before. But it’s not so.
When a 55-year-old tells me they don’t feel any different, I’m finally starting to believe them. Because it really doesn’t feel any different. Change and growth are such subtle progressions, that you can’t measure them by any means. And age is certainly no indicator of such change and growth.
So you just roll with it. It’s a number. It’s a bodily state that effects your physicality more so than anything else. Yet in our society, there are tons of pressures, spoken and not, to be at certain life stages when you hit a date on the calendar.
When you reach 18, it feels as if the world is telling you to be graduated from high school, to know what you want to do with the rest of your life, and to have a plan.
At 30, it’s like they expect you to have it all together. The job, the car, the significant other, perhaps even the kids.
Once you get to 40 it’s like some unspoken expectation that you have to feel old. That half your life is over, so you’d better be acting like it.
But can I just say, let’s throw these cockamamie ideas straight out the window? They’re ridiculous. And untrue, to say the least. There’s nothing that says you have to be at this place or that. It’s for you to decide. It’s for you to accept.
I know getting older isn’t the funnest thing in the whole world. At least it’s not the same as when you were seven going on eight and couldn’t wait for the “big bike” on your birthday. However, if you look at it as simply time passing–because that’s what it is–and not a way to measure your achievements, success, or lack there of, perhaps you’ll be able to embrace the joy of your birth!
Happy Birthday, Itzel! I love you, lady. I hope you can embrace eighteen with the same passion, energy, and excitement that you’ve done with all the years before.