My brother and I were browsing a department store, when this lady with short, gray hair and a bright flowing yellow skirt caught my eye. She seemed so interesting and cool and full of energy and smiles. I told my brother "that's what I want to be like when I'm older." and he replied with something really weird and funny:
I don't know which aunt or family friend of ours starred in whatever memory he has that gave him that weird association, but in any case, I was like, shit yeah I want to grow older like that. (as you can see, I later attempted to draw her when we got back home).
But after came a more serious thought, which I also shared to him. In a normal lifespan, we spend about half of it "old". That is, what society seems to signify as old. I'd rather look forward to that time and prepare for it, and celebrate it when it comes, rather than hold on to my youth so dearly, fearing it passing me by. It's coming anyway.
Because I have to admit, especially because I'm about to turn 25, I have been freaking out. I've been feeling like I'm reaching the age where people should have already had the time of their life, become successful, reaping the seeds they have sown, just chilling 'till they can chill no more (or.. chill forever, I guess *shudders*)... As if things will only count if I do them while I'm young.
I guess common entertainment media is partly to blame, like you rarely see protagonists be older than 35 in settings where the goal is success in one's career. Models are usually really young. And people who are my age, compared to me, seem so, so... adult. But mostly, I just never thought of deciding not to buy into that. To decide, hey what if I just try to defy what's expected from older people?
When I had that thought at the store, I somehow felt like I really understood how vast the portion of what's to come that is still in my hands is.
Yes, I'm going to start ageing (it's already started) but I don't need to just lie here and take it. I'm still early enough in the game that if I play my cards right, I can still prolong the time where I can be physically active, and maybe have a budding career in children's books, at, say, age 50, who knows?
In any case, I'm just going to put all the energy and focus I can muster to this present moment, whatever age I'm in, instead of losing some of it by scattering it around dreadful worries about the future and whatnot. I'll probably get better use of it that way.