On some days, I feel like a 4-year-old. Other days, I feel like a 19-year-old and most of the time, I feel 21. I ask myself why the age factor is so important, why is it used to measure success in life? Do you get comments like “oh wow, you are so young” or “how do you think like a 30-year-old?” How about the most annoying comments like “you look 10?” or “You are only 21, why are you behaving like an old woman already?”.
Why is it that when you are doing something big or not living up to the ‘standards’, the next thing people are concerned about is how old you really are? As we age, the ‘age syndrome’ begets more validity than our individuality. Starting from within the family to the school system down to making friends, achievements, seeking a job, and the likes…“How Old Are You?” always rings a familiar bell.
The honest truth is most times, I avoid telling my age or worse off including it while filling a document because there’s this bugging feeling that I do not merit the age. Every time I’m about to disclose my age, I have to do a mini-battle with my inner man… “Why don’t you lie? At least keep it three years below, that compliments your achievement”... and there I am, hesitant to disclose it. I get really pissed when people say to me “you are this age and you have achieved this” or “Wow! I can’t believe at this age you’ve never *****, when do you intend to do it?”
The school system among other units is the least to make you feel cool about your age. Imagine a twelve-year-old girl who finds herself caught in a slow educational process due to psychological incapacity or change of environment, and is made to start afresh in a new school. That alone is depressing. She gets into school and her classmates cannot phantom why someone bigger in size shares the same learning space with them. Culture shock hits! Trust the kids, name-calling like ‘mama’, ‘biggie’, ‘giant’, and various forms of degrading names becomes her new name. If she grows up to the university level and decides to conceal her age, would you blame her?
Sadly, there are a lot of depressed individuals out there today who feel disappointed in themselves for not ticking all the items on their list before they come to a certain age. Well, I’ve been there and sometimes still find myself stuck there and the option is to think “Oh God, I’m such a failure”.
I read a book some time ago and in that book were thirty things you should achieve in life before you turn 30. Does it mean that if I fail to achieve these things before I turn 30, I have failed as an individual? These ‘standards’ have put undue pressure on us to say the very least.
There’s so much societal pressure on individuals when they begin to mirror age 20-30. You graduate from school and now you are in the race of who will make it big first and when you attend parties or get-togethers or even your school’s reunion and see your mates talking about what they have achieved and there you are thinking “what am I doing with my life?”
It is hard to find an individual really proud of their age. Only those who have achieved a deafening feat go about flaunting their age effortlessly. There’s something about achieving so much in just a little age span. It’s a somewhat supernatural feeling; it makes a person feel like they are not of this world. Demigods. Everybody loves to feel that way but unfortunately, not everyone will. Why do you think your favorite celebrities hide their age? Why do you think the media will be more obsessed with carrying the story of a 16-years-old girl who climbed Mount Everest than a thirty-year-old who did?
I wish we knew enough to know that we are all different and it’s important to move at our individual pace. It shouldn’t matter if your mates are doing way better than you are, the only thing to not be proud of is laziness but if you are hardworking, you do your job and get your pay, there should be no need to worry about the age factor right? I wish it was as easy as I have written.
Are you also caught in hiding your real age? Do you sometimes wish you were three years younger? Oh, wait a sec. I know some people who wish they were older, are you one of them? Let’s discuss the ‘Age factor’ and the way forward.