Saturday, May 5, 2012

How old are you?

A friend of a friend posted this photo on facebook. I don't know her, but this rad old broad got me to thinking about age, and how old we feel inside rather than how old we look.

If you were to ask me how old I really feel, who I am inside, she would probably be this girl. That's me, in the middle between my brother and sister. Cheeky, opinionated and stylin' even at that age. Sometimes I feel that anyone actually believes that I'm a grown-up is just one big joke.

I think most people feel this way about aging. It's the one natural phenomenon that feels totally unnatural. My grandfather passed away at 99. I remember one birthday he was in his 90's and he was being grumpy. My mum asked him why, and he grumbled something about being old. Even in his 90's being an old person felt foreign to him.

How old do you really feel? I think maybe we spend too much time acting the way we think someone our age should act, and not enough time being true to the young soul inside.  Responsibilities make that happen, but also fear. Fear of being judged, fear of looking like a fool, fear of running out of time. It's a weird experience, becoming an older lady. There are funny cultural things, like the expression 'mutton dressed up as lamb'. Is that me now? Am I a joke? Am I not allowed to act that way I feel inside? Am I not supposed to quit my job and go play for a while?

Is freedom only for the young?

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