I Am Not Old…But You Should Still Be In Kindergarten

Something horrible is happening to me…I am aging. Now, I knew this would happen eventually. I’ve heard the saying from the moment we are born we begin dying. I know part of being human is being mortal. Still, I didn’t quite anticipate being so shocked when faced with the cold, hard reality or aging. Yeah, all of my older friends warned me of this. Yeah, I’ve watched plenty of people in my life age and die. And yet, somehow, I never really paid attention. My body didn’t hurt yet. My aches and pains went away quickly. People ten years younger than I were still in kindergarten so who the hell cared. Man, did I take advantage of a lot of good years. A whole decade of being an adult, but still being very young, gone, just like that, never to return, never fully appreciated…until now.

Aside from my body falling apart I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that people significantly younger than I am are adults. If you are ten years younger than I am, hell, even if you are only five years younger than I am, you should not be a full-fledged adult. And by that I mean you should not have a job, apartment, partner, and kids in the legitimate sense. You should come by these things as a knocked up 16 year old facing a life of working at Wal-Mart.

I started becoming very aware of the fact that people younger than I are able to do more legal things than just drive while working at the yoga studio where I am a receptionist. One of the things asked on the new student form is birth date. I started noticing that more and more people were writing in dates that were nowhere near my date of birth. One morning after a string of particularly young people had come in I found myself pondering one woman in particular. She shared that she had just moved to the neighborhood with her husband because of a new job. She looked very pulled together, had on a shiny ring, and a credit card with her name on it. Nothing out of the ordinary here, just a woman trying out her local yoga studio on a Sunday morning, right? Wrong! She was not even born in the same decade as I was. Clearly she had been abducted by her “husband” and dragged to the big, bad city of New York while her parents wept for their missing teenage daughter in their cozy Midwestern home. I had a moment of thinking I should call the police and be the heroine of this story, but then I did the math…this woman was a bona fide, legal adult. She was old enough to drive, vote, get married, drink, own a credit card to pay for yoga classes, you know all of that good stuff. She was also young enough to make me feel old.

Now I know that I am not old, but it is strange to finally be at a point in my life when I am not so young anymore. It feels weird to have people younger than I am parading around as real adults because that is in fact what they are. It feels weird to have my body ache and creak in new places and not bounce back from much of anything in a day or two anymore. I kind of wish at least one of the many people in my life saying, “Just wait until you are _ old,” had knocked me over the head instead of smirking at me when I clearly did not really listen. So for all of you babies out there, and by babies I mean those who are younger than I am, but still able to legally vote, enjoy your youth while you can…it is slipping away from you far faster than you realize.


About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
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