The other day, our external auditors and I were having lunch when one of them asked me “How old are you?”.
”I recently turned 25”, I replied. My response was met with ”OH!”.
But not the Oh that says ”Oh you look like you’re 18!”. More like ”Damn girl, you look like you’re 27!”.
And then they said that, that I looked around 27.
I couldn’t help but laugh. But later that day, I really thought about it. Should I be offended because I was told that I look older than I am?
I remember being in college and being told all the time that I look like I am an early teen. I considered it so annoying that I forcefully put on make up to make myself appear older. How ashamed I was to be told that I was younger than my age!
And now, when I was told the opposite, should I have taken offence?
It’s possible their reaction had nothing to do with my looks but more to do with what I have been saying. A lot of people in the past have told me that I sound older. I may have mentioned healthy eating which may have brought to their minds an image of their moms asking them to finish their veggies.
And in general I talk about very realistic things that only “boring, old” people talk about.
And my favourite actor is Anthony Hopkins. That should tell you something.
The question remains: to be offended or not to be?
I choose not to be. I’m not going to say age is a number because that’s such a cliché…but it really is isn’t it? Why did they feel like they offended me by saying that? And why are we so afraid of ageing anyway? Why do we treat it like a disease that must be avoided at all costs? Why does our culture teach us to fear it and stock our cabinets with anti-aging products?
It is important to understand that ageing is an inevitable part of life. We should not run away from it because we can’t. We must embrace it. Regardless, of our culture telling us otherwise, you must embrace it. And you know my thoughts about cultures that don’t make us feel good about ourselves.
If you’re afraid of growing old, it probably means you’re not living you’re life right now they way you want to and then way you should. I read that in Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s such a great book.
And if I do appear older, some might say, it’s probably a result of having a father and still not knowing what it feels like to have one. It maybe a result of losing my first home. It maybe a result of my parent’s divorce. It maybe a result of facing bitter truths early on in life. Some people might tell me so.
But if you ask me, it really is because of reading too many Milan Kundera & Franz Kafka novels.
I am who I am because of what happened to me but also because of all the books I have read, the song lyrics I have heard and the places I have been to. I want to age and I accept it because I want to go forward and not backwards.
We are better of embracing things we can’t control rather than running away from them.
P.S I appreciate comments more than a ”Like”. But if you only ”Like” it that’s fine too 🙂