Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretending to Be My Age

When I was younger I knew, of course, that there were people of all different ages.  What I didn't understand, though, was that a lot of those people didn't really feel like they belonged in the age category to which they found themselves assigned.

Am I making sense?

Well, here's the thing.  I know in my head that I am now in the middle-aged category.  To be honest, I've been in that category for awhile now.  How did that happen?  You see, I still think of myself as a young mother.  I feel I should be about 32 or so.  I feel like I kind of got mentally or emotionally stuck there.  I feel comfortable there.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not really complaining about being in my 50's.  It's just that I feel like I'm only pretending to be in my 50's, like I'm wearing a costume or something, but inside I'm still 32.  It feels kind of weird to know that people I meet don't realize that.

This happened to me when I was 14 as well.  Someone asked me how old I was and I blurted out that I was 12.  I was horrified at my mistake.  What 14 year old wants to be 12?  Well, I think I liked being 12.  I felt comfortable being 12 for several years.

I was thinking about all this and remembered something I read a long time ago.  I read that inside every person is that person from every age they'd ever been.  That is, even a middle-aged person still has inside of them the memory of who they were at a younger age and really, they are that person still.  It's kind of true, don't you think?

Next time I look at an elderly person I'm going to be wondering if deep down they feel like an imposter.  Maybe they feel like they are 25 and just pretending to be old since they are stuck wearing an old costume.  Something to think about, right?

Mike and Me in Our Early 30's


Michelle said...

I think the secret all aging people have is that in our heads we are forever young! We have a sense of surprise within ourselves that our bodies no longer respond in quite the way they should--it can hurt just getting out of a chair--and the mirror holds many shocks. There must be something about the thirties; maybe that's when we really feel like a grownup, because that's where my "mental me" is also.

Maria Rose said...

I have always felt older than I am. What does that mean?

Anonymous said...

32 ???? You still look 18 to me. Mom

Victoria said...

May I offer up a well-used Copeland quote? Which I think may be a Bob Dillon quote:) "We are all aging children".

Pam Brewer said...

Oh My Gosh! I feel the same way, only I put myself at 35 and holding.

Susan said...

Mom, thanks! Victoria, so true! Pam, I often read YOUR posts and say to myself, "That's just how I feel!" Maria, you are telling it right. I always thought you were a little adult trying to pretend to be a child. Michelle, well said!

Janet, said...

When I was young I always wondered what my aunts and parents felt like being old. Well, now that I am old(er), I think I know. My dad died in April, he was 87 years old, but he always laughed and flirted with the girls just as if he was young. I struggled with my feelings when I'd visit him.I saw Dad as he was now and remembered him as he was in the yesterdays of his life. I came to the realization they were the same. He was a young man's soul in an old man's body. I think our soul remains young, our body just gets older.

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