Chasing Older Then Wishing We We Younger
Years ago I was a Big for The Big Brothers and Sisters Program. While waiting for my Little to meet me near the school’s office, I noticed a teenager standing outside of a classroom with a teacher and two small boys. The teenager placed money in one of the boy's hands. The other boy stared at the teenager sizing him up from his shoes all the way up to his hair.
“This is your brother?” the little boy asked his classmate.
The little boy smiled looking at his big brother.
“How old are you?” The curious little boy asked the teenager.
“16,” the teenager said.
The little boy's eyes bulged and his mouth hung wide open. He was in awe.
“16!?” The boy shouted.
The teenager turned red while raking his hands through his sandy blonde hair. I wasn’t sure if the teenager was flattered or embarrassed, but to that kindergarten boy that 16-year-old was older. He was cool.
As kids, we were fascinated by those that are older than us. We can’t wait until we’re older. When we’re 12, we anxiously await to be an official teen — 13. Then we can’t wait for our sweet 16. In a few more years we anticipate 18 and in three more years we’re so excited to announce, “Twenty-one baby!” After 21, the counting pretty much stops. With a snap of the finger, we’re having a quarter-life crisis and haven’t even reached 30.
What the hell happened? Did time speed up? Hold up we just had a birthday. A YEAR PASSED AGAIN? Being an adult appeared to be so fun until it happens.
I tell any young person that I have interaction with that you have more years being an adult than a child, enjoy where you’re at. Don’t rush it. Don’t force it, enjoy it.
If only we were living in the moment instead of chasing older. This is why it’s so interesting to see society’s obsession with anti-aging products. The anti-aging market is a multi-billion dollar business that cashes in on vulnerability and the inevitable — getting older.
Older adults are injected, lifted, and tightened to look younger. From botox to fat transfers to the hands, yup there’s a procedure out that will make your hands look like a teenager. We’re never satisfied with our age.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to refresh your look, but please understand that you are the age that you are. Time is time and it goes by. As time goes by we get older. Many of us have life regrets. We should've done this. We should’ve stayed away from that crowd. We should’ve gone to school, and studied harder. Why didn’t we take more chances? Why did we marry so young?
Chasing what was is draining. There’s no going back so I encourage you to embrace your age. Live it up. Define it.
We ask kids all the time, what do you want to be when you grow up? The kid shares their dreams and aspirations. We smile. They continue to play, to be in the moment. We can learn a lot from kids.