Omigod. I had an exchange with someone on an unnamed social media network yesterday which ended with her telling me that because I am forty, there is no way I could possibly understand what being twenty-five right now could be like because it’s so hard to find a job that pays well and I have no idea! No idea people! (Because of course I’ve never been twenty-five, broke, looking for a job, going through a divorce and tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Not me.)
I mean, it’s one thing when your teenager says “you just don’t understand” – but really, this makes me feel old!
And why? Because it reminded me so strongly, so shockingly, of the hubris of twenty-five. As when my step-daughter intimates the same, I am viscerally reminded of fifteen and feeling trapped. It makes me feel old because I realize how far one travels between fifteen and twenty-five, twenty-five and (almost) forty. How we are not who we thought we were. How we are not who we thought we would become.
Which makes me glad. Ecstatic, really. That I am not trapped. At fifteen, or twenty-five. Or forty. That I will not only know myself right now, but there will be a new me, and a new path in the future. That the older I get, the more freely myself I become (even as I conversely feel more stuck in my job, or held fast to my mortgage).
HOWEVER (and there is always one of those) it also reminds me of all the similar things I have said to my elders over the years and which I have to stop saying because it always comes back to haunt us doesn’t it?
And so! It is good to remember we are never the person we are for more than the moment in which we are being that person and too quickly we are another person, one who knows more than we did a few minutes or years ago, and there is no person who looks back at fifteen or twenty-five or forty and thinks – oh yes, that was the year I knew it all. Because we never do. Though I do think it’s always better to be here than there.
Enough said. Expect more ruminations on aging as the birthday nears, I’m indulging myself in age these days.
It’s funny…. Just ask her what is the alternative to aging and maybe she will appreciate “one more year” lol
I turned forty this year and I was surprised at how much it caused me to reflect! …and so we are humbled.
“and there is no person who looks back at fifteen or twenty-five or forty and thinks – oh yes, that was the year I knew it all.”