I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. -Francis Bacon
Hey! So, in case you haven’t guessed from the title and the above quote, this post is about what I think of age (basically that it’s overrated), in response to this weeks writing challenge, found here. I found the prompt pretty interesting (which is why I chose to do it). Basically, I’m supposed to write what exactly age is to me. I apparently had the option to construct a character and explore how they change with age (damn it! I missed that part!), but, as you can see, I didn’t see that, and I already have an awesome idea of what to type up for the rest of the post. Now, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
The above picture about sums up what I believe just about every one thinks of age, which is why I put it in here (that and it looks cool). Mostly, when people think of age, they think of time. For almost everyone, “age” and “time” are two words that are tied together like the words “sponge” and “bob” (please tell me you got that reference!). But I’m going to tell you something: that’s not true.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: age, in the literal sense, is just a number. But in the long run, that isn’t how we measure things, is it? All that goes by age is drinking, being an adult (and doing adult stuff, like joining the army and things like that), and driving. Sure there’s more, but those are the main things. Even school doesn’t really go by age- it goes by how well you know the material. Society measures things in many different ways, but normally, not age. We go by height and weight for riding roller coasters and riding in car seats. We go by smarts in school. We go by gender for bathrooms. Hell, we go by money for some things, like politics because people who aren’t rich can’t advertise, which means they can’t get their ideas out, which means no winning any election because they won’t get any votes (which is sad, but that’s for another post). But we sure don’t use age as a measure for almost everything. It’s the exact opposite of that, though it may be hard to believe.
Another thing about age is, it isn’t always measured by numbers. In my opinion, how old you are in years should be thrown out the window, because think of what some really young people have been through in experience. Yeah, more than some of the oldest people you know have been through. So, not listening to someone’s advice because they’re young? That’s bullshit. This may a little cliché, but sometimes the youngest people are the wisest. Like, even five and six year olds. Example time!
So, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that happened in Newtown, Connecticut (which, by the way, is a town right next to where some of my family lives), on December 14, 2012. Well, you probably haven’t heard what six-year-old Jesse Lewis did to save his classmates just moments before he died, now have you? Let me set the scene for you: Jesse’s teacher had just been killed (who, by the way, Jesse had been standing next to, comforting, while the rest of his classmates were hiding). The gunman had stopped shooting for a second because his gun had jammed. While this happened, Jesse yelled “RUN!” to his classmates. He saved some of their lives, because some of them listened. In his classroom, eleven students survived, most thanks to Jesse. In the other classroom that the gunman got into, only one student survived. This account was relayed by several of the surviving students from Jesse’s class, who helped piece together Jesse’s last minute heroics.
Jesse is a hero. At six years old. I’m sure that comes as a surprise for many of you, but not for me. You see, the wisest, most selfless people in the world tend to be young children, because they haven’t yet been corrupted by worries and the stress of daily life yet. Maybe I’m a little biased (but I don’t think so, because I’m not discussing teenagers), but little kids are the ones worth listening to.
Now, to get to the real subject of this post. This will probably come as a shocker to you, but… age means almost nothing to me. Keyword is almost. Yeah, I’m looking forward to being 16, when I can get my permit, 16 1/2, when I can drive, 17 1/2, when I graduate high school (my birthday is September 11, 1998, and I graduate in 2016), 18, when I start college, (and so on), but that’s just the details. I try not to worry about that too much. Because that’s the future. And do you know what ultimately decides my future? My present. My actions and decisions and experiences of now. That quote I have at the beginning of this post? That’s pretty much my life. I thought 15 was old when I was 13 (not old old, but… well, you know what I mean). Now that I’m 15, it’s nothing.
That’s because age itself is nothing. Experience is everything. You could have a 20-year-old woman who’s lost her entire family, house, has a disability, and has been bullied her entire life, and a 50-year-old woman who lived a fairly normal, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary life, whose whole family (including parents) is still alive, both available to be your mentor. If you could only choose one, based on experience, who would you choose? If you were smart, you’d choose the 20-year-old woman, because she has more experience, and she’s more prepared to help you with whatever life throws at you. I guess what I’m saying is, instead of don’t judge a book b y it’s cover, don’t judge a person by his or her age.
One last thing on this topic. Why are some people ~cough~ women 30 and over ~cough~ afraid to say their age? With age comes a certain regal air that you carry around with you. Another thing is, it’s like betraying your true self. There’s no lying to your body. Plus, karma will screw you over for that one, one way or another. So, don’t do it, for those reasons (also, stop doing it because it seriously pisses me off when I can’t get a straight answer out of you).
I have a lot more to say about age, but it can’t really be put into paragraphs, just separate sentences that don’t go together, so it won’t work for this post. Anyways, I hope you got something out of this post. Even if you didn’t, it was still fun to write (I really hope you got something out of it, though!). What are your thoughts on age? Tell me, if you want. Now, I’ll leave you with one of my own thoughts that I’ve been saying for years (just with slightly different phrasing to fit this post):
I swear, when I turn 30, I’m gonna say it loud and proud, because lying and saying I’m 29 is BS. I’m going to stay true to me, and I hope that, from now on, you will, too.
P.S. As always, the original URLs for the pictures can be found by simply clicking on the pictures. I don’t own the pictures used in this post, nor do I pretend to own them.