ADULT CONTEMPORARY: Being the Oldest One

All my life, I’ve been drawn to older people (just people older than me in general, not “of a certain age” necessarily), and I’ve always wanted to BE older too. The most difficult part of childhood for me was being an actual KID. That, on its own, just infuriated me. I wanted to be sophisticated and grown up and like some old movie star smoking cigarettes [Editor: don’t smoke, kids!]. And so, I acted older, had older boyfriends, and always applauded myself when someone thought I was older.

Once, when working as a receptionist at the ripe age of 19, a co-worker asked “You’re 30 right??” When I was 27, a friend asked if I was 30, and instead of moving down in numbers, he started guessing up.

Image by Anjali Pinto, Makeup by Shannon O'Brien Image by Anjali Pinto, Makeup by Shannon O’Brien

Major victories, obviously.

I’ve always been the youngest person of the group, enjoying both the company of successful, hilarious, amazing people AND the accomplishment of tricking them into keeping me around. And now, as I creep closer to 40, I find that I am not the youngest one. In fact, I am very often the oldest one.

Not all it’s cracked up to be, I’ve learned.

Recently, a friend, after bemoaning turning 30, apologized and said she knew it wasn’t a big deal to me [gut punch]. And no, it wasn’t a big deal to me, I loved 30. The problem is, that as you begin to move further away from that number, the world tells you repeatedly that you’re losing relevance.

Magazines and newspapers are full of “30 under 30” lists – as if that’s the biggest prize a person can achieve. Being successful is great, but you’re really only something if you’re YOUNG too.

Um???

First of all, having the confidence to re-invent yourself later in life, or to keep pushing towards something you started long ago despite all the noise, or to just live a decent, honorable life is ADMIRABLE. So to the writers of all those lists? Bye, Felicia. [I have no idea what that means.] And to the children and young adults who want nothing more than to be older and on their own? Come to me – I am old and experienced and will probably start talking like a Valley Girl [you have no idea what that means], because I don’t know how else to connect, but I will happily guide you. And to everyone else feeling old AF, and confused and under-valued? YOU ARE GREAT. Actually, you’re BETTER. I don’t even have to know you to know that. You’re smarter and just better than you ever were, at everything. And you know it. YOU’RE GREAT.

Now go try this Botox Alternative for your super old skin.

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