It can offend us. It can make us feel young or old. It’s all relative to who you are comparing yourself next to.
Age is the duration of a being across its lifetime to the present moment. The beginning ages are youthful with many mistakes expected. The latter part of life is a more advanced period where wisdom comes into play. Seniority comes with its own expectations.
I remember craving to grow aged in school. To be a big dog in elementary school when I was in 8th grade. Swimming as a big fish in a small pond, when I was a senior in high school.
It was exciting to drive at age 16. I felt scared voting at age 18 like I hadn’t formed enough independent thoughts of my own. Turning age 21 felt long overdue. All these milestones created so much to look forward to. I felt privileged to have these new opportunities granted as I came of age.
To be a mature age is when someone attains their full personal rights. I’d say at age 24 I have gained most of my rights apart from renting a car. Despite this, I feel far from ripeness or full development in my maturity of judgment. I still feel naive about the world.
You’d think this feeling goes away eventually, but who knows? I have become wiser than I am in the past.
Though in comparison to my family members, I’ve pursued such a drastically different life trajectory. When my grandma was 24, she already married her husband. She immigrated from the Netherlands to the US with her 33-year-old husband. My dad was an indebted dental student taking care of his father dying from brain cancer. My mom was making her way up the ranks at General Motors while pursuing her MBA at night.
When comparing myself to generations before me it can feel like I am aging far differently. There were other values at play.
It’s human nature to want to compare and figure out why there is a difference. Where did this delta come from? The explanation here is simple. The world has changed, so the people have as well.