You Are Not Old

You’re in your thirties. You aren’t old.

You’re too old for that T shirt, but you’re not old.

You shouldn’t be this drunk in public right now, but you shouldn’t have been in your twenties, either. Now you just have no excuse. You’re old enough to know better. But that doesn’t make you old.

You can’t drink Coke all day and eat fast food 4 times a week and not get fat. Kids have a faster metabolism because they’re still growing. You’re done growing. You’re an adult.

Adults don’t call themselves “grown-ups.” Except perhaps ironically.

When a 20 year old tells a 5 year old how old they are, the 5 year old will think that the 20 year old is really old. That’s because their perception of time is limited and skewered. One would hope the 5 year old will outgrow that.

Quit saying you’re old. You’re not.

Our culture puts people in their twenties and younger on a pedestal, but that hasn’t always been the case. It used to be that aspiring to adulthood was the ideal, and knowledge and experience was to be celebrated and aspired to above youthful inexperience.

In the middle of the last century, advertisers determined that the best target demographic was the youth, because after the post war baby boom there were a great many of them, and getting them familiar and addicted to products early when they were impressionable would be advantageous. In our capitalistic society, media of all kinds comes to you through periodicals and programs paid for by advertisers. It wasn’t long before the lowest common denominator became the most desirable market, and a mass dumbing down began.

People in their twenties have brains that aren’t yet fully formed. Studies tell us that your frontal lobe, which controls decision making, wasn’t done growing until you were about 25.

Are you really going to wear those sunglasses indoors?

That’s better.

Anyway, the real reason it’s so important that people in their twenties remain the center of the universe is that they remain the best consumers. They run up credit card debt, they’ll pay loads of money to go to concerts and buy overpriced booze, they have to have the latest smartphones, they grew up on Lucky Charms and McDonald’s and trying to get every Pokemon card, and the minute they’re old enough to get wise, they need to “age out of the demographic” and have their voices become culturally marginalized.

It’s a marketing scheme.

Don’t fall into their trap.

Still, you should maybe reconsider that jacket and those jeans. Maybe that ball cap should go on front ways instead of backwards. Maybe you should skip it entirely, actually.

Maybe you’re married and have kids. I bet if I check in with you years from now and ask you if you think your twentysomething kids have their shit together and are at the peak of their intellectual lives, you’re not going to say “yes.”

Maybe you’re not married and don’t have kids. Maybe you don’t want to. It’s odd how your life feels very much the same as it did when you were younger.The fact is, you’re different. Unless you’ve almost deliberately learned nothing, your experiences have changed you.

People live longer now than they ever have before. You are not old.

But you’re not that damn young, either.

Get your shit together.