Old, So What?
When I was six years old, life looked more fun at 10 years old. When I was 10, life looked more amazing at 15. When I was 15 years old and crushing on a 20 year old guy, I just had to be 20! Somehow, in all of my wishing and hoping to be an older me, I didn’t quite realize fully at the time that once I was older, I would never go back. No, instead, I would just keep…getting older, and older, and…I think you get my point.
At first I didn’t see a real problem with this. I knew a lot of older people, a lot of very happy and content older people; and when I watched their lives, life looked beautiful. But as I turned the corner into my early to mid-twenties, I started experiencing a rather startling thing. People, mainly those 3-4 years younger than I, started labeling me as…old. Huh? I thought to myself. Old? What like as in decaying? Washed up? Past my expiration date? This really threw me in a mental sort of way.
In fact these comments affected me so much that I began to experience a horrible onslaught of depression. At the ripe old age of 25 I began feeling as though I may as well have been dead, buried and done with. I felt like someone had come and stamped a huge EXPIRED on my face and I really battled feeling any hope about life whatsoever. After doing a little research into what was going on with me, I began to see that this was a quite common thing for those in their mid-twenties to experience, known as a quarter life crisis.
What? What’s wrong with this picture? I couldn’t get my brain around what was happening to me. I’d only been alive for 25 years and now the best years of my life were over? Hmmm. I started realizing that this was a bigger problem than just me getting “older”…it was actually a piece of a very unhealthy mentality quickly forming in our society, a mentality ushered in around the generations of X, Y…and Z.
Effects on Age
Our generation, the Now Generation, upon being born and released into the world, were thrown into a new age of advanced technology. Research has proven that with each passing decade, the average IQ of human beings goes up an entire three points! Amazing! And as you look around, the evidence screams that it’s true as toddlers are now “playing” with technology that now surpasses those that had originally sent us to the moon! Well, what’s the problem? So what?
Though this truly
is an amazing thing to behold for the sake of
human advancement in science, it has also
ushered in a tremendous level of pressure on
what a acceptable human existence should now
look like. As more and more people leap into the
wonderful world of credential success, the
window for acceptable accomplishment has gotten
smaller…and smaller…and smaller by the decade.
Drowning in a System of 'Success'
In order to surpass the majority, in todays'
society, and stand out above the rest, it takes
an extraordinary amount of effort to do so, as
we compete with the full throttle motion of ever
advancing technology and resources like never
before. To advance into a high paying career, it
takes far more than just a four year degree now
adays. No, now you have to have a four
year degree and preferrably a masters degree as
well. And then, don't stop there, because
if you don't walk in with a few years of
experience under your belt, it's unlikely you're
going to close the deal on your dream job.
From an earlier and earlier age, we have been
pushed fast and many times pre-maturely to reach
certain marks of excellene. And the down
side of this is when we feel we've missed this
mark. If we havn't gotten a career, a
house, a car and a marriage partner by the time
we're in our mid-twenties, our generation feels
rediculously...as if their shot has come and
gone and now it's too late to live their dream
the way it could have been.
In a world of social media and constant shifts in technological advancement, it has become a much more challenging world to stand out in. Looking around in this whirl- wind of forward thinking, I have begun noticing a startling difference between the ages out-look of say the 1950’s to that of now. What is the difference I have noticed (other than Technicolor)? Let me show you. Take a look at the SUPERSTAR ICONS of the 1950s.
Now take a
look at the superstars of today:
If you sit through a night of Turner Classic movies and watch movie after movie into the wea hours of the morning, you will very rarely catch a glimpse of a mega star at that time who wasn't over twenty years old. These days, it's not uncommon for children to hold positions of mega-stardom.
I remember the night I saw Lindsey Lohan on the Late Show. She was 19 at the time and voiced that she was undergoing a genuine feel of depression over the fact that she would no longer be a teenager. I remember when I watched this, how sad it made me that our culture has pushed in this direction. We have come to worship a flawless, almost child-like youthful beauty, leaving those who have run in that system, like Lindsey Lohan for instance, feeling outdated and useless by the age of 20.
Away From the Mirror!
Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. Ahem. No, I’m desperate to help get a very vital message out to our society, in particularly to the younger generations. Please stop for a second and breathe. Please let yourselves feel comfort in knowing that life actually gets more and more beautiful, richer and more incredible as life moves on. When you stop looking 16, when you stop looking 21, when you stop looking 30, your life will not lose its richness. Your existence will not be any less amazing; quite the opposite actually. If you let yourself enjoy the ride, if you stop trying to apply the brakes so much and just enjoy the ride, life is an incredible place to be at any stage.
It’s an absolutely for sure reality, that our greatest enemy, the greatest thing that might try to hold us back, make us sad, are our own minds. Not others opinions, not our wealth, not our youth and not our…car models. Embrace life. Don’t walk through it constantly feeling afraid of your next birthday. Smile. Remember that the next time you blow out those birthday candles; you’re going to be an even more incredible person than you are today. And remember to remember…to enjoy the ride of leaving age behind!