It seems that many people, when they are young, keep wanting to be older than they are. “I can’t wait until I’m sixteen” and can do X or Y or Z. Then, “I can’t wait until I’m eighteen” for some other rights. And finally, “I can’t wait until I’m twenty-one” and finally you’re allowed to be a full-fledged adult.
And then … what? The decline begins?
I remember being twenty-five and thinking one night that I’d passed the peak. That now it was a long, slow decline. It seemed silly, when I then thought about it logically, but in talking with many of my friends and relatives, they had the same sort of thought strike them. So much of our culture is about extolling and celebrating the milestones up until the age of twenty-one. And then we don’t have anything. The most we get is the “Big 5-0” of fifty which is more of a grim occasion for many people. Cakes are decorated with death icons.
Also, until someone reaches 21, they often lie about their age to seem older. But then once they pass 21, many people lie about their age to seem younger. They don’t want to admit how old they are as if they were ashamed or embarrassed of that fact. That they had made it that far in life.
Would a long distance runner be ashamed of the distances he had covered? He’d be proud of them! Why would we humans feel anything but pride for where we have gotten with ourselves?
Since that night of pondering, I feel I have come to peace with where I am in life. I am quite fine telling people my age. 49. It doesn’t feel “negative” in any way. It is what I am. It’s how far I’ve come. I’ve done a lot of cool things in my 49 years and look forward to a wide variety of opportunities going forward. My to-do list is miles and miles long. There are so many opportunities in our world.
Would I want to be eighteen again? Absolutely not! My brain wasn’t fully formed yet :). I made many questionable decisions. It’s just what I had to work with. I have learned and grown from then. I am now in a far better place.
Would I want to have an eighteen-year-old body? So I could be sought after by eighteen-year-old boys? That’s a pretty unpleasant thought for me, to have young eighteen-year-old boys eyeing me! I want to be healthy, yes. Able to do the things I want to do, yes. But look eighteen? I really don’t think so. I want to look happy and healthy. I wouldn’t want to look eight years old, either. I want to give an impression of who I am and where I am in life. I am quite fine with that.
What are your thoughts on aging and if there’s a peak age? Share them in the comments below!
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