What’s the Rush?
“Life doesn’t end at 25" and other rants about the fear of aging
Ever since I was a child, I wondered what it would be like to be an adult. I couldn’t wait to grow up. But now that I am an adult, that excitement has disappeared and has been replaced by a constant fear of aging. I can’t enjoy being my current age because I am busy worrying about my inevitably turning a year older in some time.
I just have a handful of years before I reach that threshold age where you’re termed “too old” for this and that. Even just thinking about that makes me feel the time rushing by and I feel the need to do something.
After I turned 17, everything started to fly. It seems impossible to catch up with life. I see all these people at 30,25,21, achieving milestones, standing where I want to stand and I feel this time rushing, this clock ticking while I am unable to move, completely paralyzed.
We have been conditioned to believe that after a certain age, our life is over. Once you reach that threshold, you should just sit and wait for the time to pass until your final breath. So all that you are left with is the option to do everything you can before you reach that age. I started to panic because with every passing day, I was reaching closer and closer to that age, but nowhere closer to where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.
Society tells you that you’re worthless, especially as a woman if you are no longer young. The age bracket of what is considered “young” is getting wider, but it still has a long way to go. Women are seen as commodities where they are valued for as long as they’re new and shiny, as long as you have plump skin and a pretty face. Otherwise, you’re disposed of. The amount of pressure this puts on women is insurmountable.
As much as I would like to say “age is just a number”. Unfortunately, it isn’t. For the majority of us, it is a ticking time bomb. But I am slowly trying to rewrite the story of what is expected of me.
We’re raised to believe that our youth is our prime. It takes a lot to unlearn that. No one is in their prime in their youth. Everyone I’ve met has gotten slightly happier each year of their lives. The only people who reach middle age and are less happy with the person they are now than they were back then are the type that clings to a delusion of idealistic youth.
Every year is more wisdom, more experience, more patience at being a human being, more time to get to know yourself, and the calm understanding of the world that you get with age. And for us women, we need that practice, because it’s one more year of dealing with how the world treats us.
You are one of the lucky ones if you get the opportunity to live longer and it baffles me to see how we as a society have succeeded in making people resist that and see that as something negative and unwanted.
But really, what’s the rush? Why do we feel like we need to hurry up? Why is it that the only best life to live is where you build a business at 23, buy an apartment and a car at 25, and get blue tick verified while you travel the world?
We’re all adults here and can we just stop pretending that life ends at 25? Because it clearly doesn’t. It’s high time we normalize enjoying life at all ages. Tell stories, not only of the young achievers but also of the people finding love at 40, changing careers at 50, finding passion at 60.
When I say this, I am saying it more to myself than to you: It’s not too late. It will be too late when you’re dead. So might as well start now.