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The age thing.

zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifelessin a dry wasteland Veteran
edited March 2013 in General Banter
In a few months, I will be turning 28. Somehow, 28 seems so much closer to 30 than 27... and in all honesty, 30 looks like the death of youth at the moment.

I know that inevitably, everyone older than me on this board is going to comment chastising me because "Try being 40!/50!/60!/70!, etc." And yes... 30 is not all that bad in theory... I'm still relatively healthy and whatnot, plus, I'm not even turning 30... but the thing is... all of this is making me realize just how much I cling to this illusion of youth. Before you yell at me, please try to remember how you felt when you approached this age mark. Because 30 is that dividing line in our culture. It's that line between "Omg totes!" and "Do you guys have any business woman specials?" There's expectations at 30! Mistakes that seem acceptable for youth are suddenly pathetic at 30. You're supposed to have your shit together by 30, but I don't feel that way at all. I literally feel like I'm bumbling through life each year... taxes still give me heart attacks... I am late on bills all the time, not because I don't have the money, just because I'm an idiot... I nearly forget to renew my plates each year... Sometimes I'm amazed I accomplish anything.

I mean, hello, my name is zombieGIRL not zombieWOMAN... Sure, I've been on this site a few years, but if that's not a symptom of my denial, I don't know what is... lol

But the thing is... I still talk like a valley girl... I still play video games and paint my nails crazy colors and wear chuck taylors and in general... do NOT act like an "adult". Last night, one of the younger girls at work said to me, "Yeah, you're like 30 right?" and my face was like T_T so she quickly countered with, "But I only know that cuz you told me! I was really shocked cuz you look so much younger!" But the damage was done because the point wasn't about the number, it was about how I stood opposed to her: an adult vs an early twenty-something. The point was that "like 30" meant "you are no longer in the same age group as me" and I hate that this bothers me.

So, I'm sad to announce, this whole thing is really making me suffer, like dukkha tends to do. I find myself wondering how much longer I can continue to keep up with current fashion and dress cute before I'm that pathetic old lady clinging to her youth... T_T Like, can I say "totes" or do I need to stick with "totally" because that's what we said in MY GENERATION.

I'm starting to hate the current music. I'm starting to not understand the current fashion (especially when I see styles recycled!). Hanging out with my little cousins (18-21 year olds) makes me feel so old when I have no idea about the new bands and slang they talk about. I'm starting to not feel relevant and I'm finally starting to understand all of the comments that older people have made throughout my youth and even scarier, they're starting to come out of my mouth!

Aging is inevitable, obviously. Intellectually I know that it's futile to rebel, that you just have to accept it. Understanding that concept is easy, but applying it to my life has been difficult. It's frustrating that I care so much... I didn't think I would care this much, you know? I kind of want to figure this out now because every year is feeling like a big tick toc down on my relevancy to youth culture. It's inescapable and I don't WANT to be that woman who struggles against the inevitable, pouring massive amounts of energy and money into her futile attempt at looking young, yet deep down knows that she's not fooling anyone. I'm starting to become that woman, I can feel it...

Somehow, I expected to slide into being a grown up with the grace of an old sage, imparting wisdom on the youth around me... knowing that with each wrinkle, I'm looking more distinguished because they aren't 'frown lines' ... they're 'smile lines'! ...But I don't feel that way at all. I hate these freakin 'smile lines'. My face isn't supposed to have a lingering trace of a smile, it's supposed to bounce back like youthful collagen filled skin should! Argh.

To sum it all up, it's just that moment where you suddenly realize you're thinking of a song as "new and hip" but in reality, it totally came out 7 years ago... Yeah. I'm living in that moment.

Towanda help me :(


  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    edited March 2013
    if/when you are ready to change, you will. Don't be hard on yourself! I have friends who are my age and still do the punk thing really well. They are in their mid 30s and still fit in with people 10 years younger, and are happy as clams, and they look great doing it, not phony. Some people try to hard, or outlive those phases, and look phony. But not everyone does. I'm 37, and while I never really experienced the "omg I'm turning" 30 the way you did, I'm experiencing it as I near 40. When I turned 30 I had just started dating my now-husband and that kept me feeling young, because he was 21, lol.

    I sometimes have a hard time realizing maybe I should be shopping in the junior's department anymore, but when I look at the ladies department, oh hell no, I'm not ready to go there. Too Golden Girls for me, lol. So, I still wear tank tops, jean shorts and flip flops. I just don't wear the kinds that I did 15 years ago. So, not old lady but not 15, either. You'll find your niche, don't fall victim to being in such a worry to accept it that you are averse to it. It'll come naturally. You'll notice before anyone has to point it out if you no long feel comfortable in what you wear, how you act. When it starts to happen, we notice that either all our friends start to fall in line with how we feel too, or things start to change and the friends who aren't in the same place, find different interests and different friends. I am still friends with some friends who are childless but it isn't the same as it was when we all were partying together. We still chat, and I still adore their company, but it's impossible to ignore our lives are different. It just happens, you don't have to worry about making it happen.

    Enjoy your Chuck Taylors. I still do. I find it really funny actually that my first pair I got in high school. Then they disappeared, and I still wore them. And now they are back, and my kids wear them, and I STILL have them, LOL. I ain't giving them up and no one looks at me funny over it. One day, maybe I'll feel the need to trade them in for pilgrim shoes. I hope not though. I'll be rocking Chuck Taylors when I'm 80.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Funny thing, but it was always the year before "the big ___" that bothered me. 29 bothered me, 30 didn't. 39 bothered me, 40 didn't.
  • If it makes you feel any better, I'm about to turn 35 and I don't have my shit together. I wish I did, but life threw some curve balls, and I'm not exactly where I expected or wanted to be...but, that's the way life is. There seem to be these expectations about what adulthood is all about and how adults should think/feel/behave, but I've come to think of that largely as a myth. The truth is, I don't really feel different than I was at 30 or 27. Definitely different than when I was in my teen years and early twenties, but after that I can't say there's been any big difference aside from the occasional grey hair.

    I don't like the idea of growing older, not just for myself but because it means the people I love are getting older too. But in those moments where I'm able to set those worries aside, I would say that overall that my life has gotten better as I've aged. I've discovered new interests, made friends, sort of found a place for myself in the world. My financial situation may be shakey, and I'm definitely not following the school - work- marraige- kids road map, but those things aren't the only considerations (unless you really do want to get married and have kids. I've always been ambivalent about it at best).

    Don't try to squeeze yourself into the mold labeled 'adult.' Rather do what feel right and what you feel comfortable with. There are some clothes I don't wear anymore, and it wasn't because I thought 'this is too young for me', but I just wasn't as comfortable in those items anymore and found myself gravitating towards them less and less. I still do sometimes buy things out of the Juniors department (their styles just tend to be better!). Two of my hobbies involve dressing out of the norm anyway, and when I go out with my like minded friends (some of whom are older than I am), I'm often dressed funny by most people's standards. But who cares, it's fun, right? Getting older doesn't mean you can't have fun or that you have to change who you are. Being an adult does mean taking on more responsibility, though being human also insures that you will screw up from time to time throughout your life.

    So while I don't exactly look forward to my birthdays like I used to, it's really not so bad. Life doesn't end at 30.
  • ZendoLord84ZendoLord84 Veteran
    edited March 2013
    I'm 29.
    I'll be 30 in 9 months or so.

    It's all good.
    I play videogames, like hiphop, watch movies with giant robots in them, quote star trek, all that sorta stuff.

    We're a different generation then our parents, it's only logical for us to like different stuff.
    When the teens nowadays get 30, they will like different stuff. etc. etc.

  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    karasti said:

    I sometimes have a hard time realizing maybe I should be shopping in the junior's department anymore, but when I look at the ladies department, oh hell no, I'm not ready to go there.

    I can totally relate! Haha. Thanks for sharing, btw.

    @black_tea Both you and @karasti made some really good points about something I seem to have forgotten... I think I'm pretty wrapped up in the 'idea' of getting older, not necessarily the reality. In the reality, things are a lot better for me than they were at 24... or 21... or 19... I just kept feeling like the only event linked to age to look forward to is retirement, but really, that's not true... Getting older can be it's own reward in a way. When I was an early twenty-something, I suffered from a lot of things that aren't as much as an issue for me now (general immaturity complicating life)... Maybe in another 10 years I will say the same thing.

    I asked my mom recently when I would start feeling like an "adult" and she told me that even she has yet to reach that age...
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    edited March 2013
    In other weird news, it's like the internet gods heard me because (my favorite lesbian website) just posted an article of 125 Smokin' Hot Actresses, Musicians, Models & Directors Over 45 after a recent survey revealed that lesbians tends to prefer women 10 years older than they are. Hm. Maybe getting older isn't so bad... How old do you think you have to be to be considered a cougar?

    Why is it that I can find wrinkles on other women sexy, but on my own face, they freak me out? Hm.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    I think your mom is on the right track! Last year, for the whole year, I thought I was 37. Right before my birthday in December someone asked how old I was turning, and I had to count it out and here I had thought I was a year older the whole time! Sometimes I get wrapped up in the number, or when I hear songs that were considered "metal" in my days referred to as classics now, lol. But I just go by how I feel, and for the most part I don't feel much different than I did 10 years ago. I try to be conscious of my poor children, so they don't have a mom who shows up at their concerts and races dressed like the girls they go to school with, lol. But I refuse to be someone I'm not, either, just because of the year I was born.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 2013
    Exercising helps the body in the 30s at a time when all the energy and slim body fall off the map and you have gut fat. In my 20s it wasn't hard for me to run a mile and now since december I have finally worked up to a half mile. I can run longer with mixing walking but 1/2 mile is the personal best for an all run run. Makes me think of the energizer battery commercial: "a do run run run a do run run".

    I love the movie scene
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    LOL! I wondered that, about cougars, @zombiegirl. I actually looked it up and I think you have to be 40 and be chasing someone 10 years younger, but I imagine it varies. My husband is 8.5 years younger than me. I just turned 37 and he will be 29 in May. I barely missed the mark. When I was in high school I dated a guy 1 year, but 2 grades, younger than me, and man was that questionable then!
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    edited March 2013
    @Vastminds your comment left me torn between "insightful" and "awesome"

    @karasti When I first started hanging out with now girlfriend, everyone kept telling me I was 'robbing the cradle' because she was like 19 and I was 22... It's only 3 years, but when one person can drink and the other can't, it seems like a huge gap. Now it's not a big deal at all. Her party phase outlasted mine a little, but we got through it and now are pretty much on the same page.

    About cougars... I just googled this... Haha. According to "It’s pretty simple: a cougar is a sophisticated, sexy older woman who generally prefers the company of a younger man. She’s a confident woman who has challenged society’s sexual double-standard, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to get it."

    "People commonly think a woman must meet some minimum age requirement to be called a cougar, like she must be over 35 or must be in a certain age range. It’s absurd and we want to know who started this rumor. The reality is that being a cougar is mostly about attitude. We've met plenty of cougars in our day - from sexy, vigorous 60 year olds to confident twentysomethings just coming into their own. Cougars all share this in common: they carry themselves with grace and exude sexual power. Young men are drawn to them because they wear their experience with pride and embody a sophisticated sexuality impossible to resist."

    Awesome. We are both cougars.

    Also, there's this younger guy at work who everyone teases about being a cougar chaser. Whenever he has a drink or two after work, he inevitably ends up gushing about how cool he thinks I am in a non-threatening cute sorta way. So I must be on my way. ;)
  • Be yourself always.
  • GlowGlow Veteran
    edited March 2013
    My 20s were, by far, the most stressful, insecure time of my life. More so than my teenage years. You couldn't pay me to go back there, lol.

    Maybe it will help to remember that some of the biggest names in pop culture are older than you. For example, I recently learned that Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy) is 39. He's every college kid's hero, and he's more than a decade older than you. He has managed to stay relevant -- not because he's kept up with what the big corporate machines have engineered to appeal to teens and 20-somethings -- but simply by sticking to his own quirky blend of pop culture which often references things from ages ago.

    Clicking around on a pop culture magazine, here are some names that pop up:
    Beyonce is 31.
    James Franco is 34.
    Nicki Minaj is 30.
    Matt Stone and Trey Parker (South Park) are both in their 40s.
    Henry Rollins is over 50.
    Tom Brady is 35.
    Helena Bonham Carter is 46.
    Adam Levine (Maroon 5) is 34.
    Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 35.
    Bradley Cooper is 38.
    Sofia Vergara is 40
    ... etc.

    Age really is just a number if you have the right marketing. In fact, it's a very important number if you're in the field of marketing. The only reason people glorify youth in contemporary culture is that they've figured that that's one of the age groups at which people are most easily manipulated into buying things they don't need. Just throw the promise of more sex or status at them and there you go.

    Being young sucks just as much as being old. Just in different ways. :)
  • @glow "Being young sucks just as much as being old. Just in different ways."
    True dat.
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    I'm 5 months shy of 40 now, I remember this time 10 years ago I was much more bothered about turning 30 than I am now about turning 40. I think maybe 30 says that you can't pretend your a kid anymore, it's the official line between adult and youth?

    Some of the things I've noticed over the past 10 years is that I can't eat whatever I want without consequence and my body wears down and gets cranky if I don't excercise it. Also the actresses that I thought were hot when I was 30 I still find hot today and I imagine and hope that will continue as I get older, while the younger hotties just look like kids to me.

    I was sitting around with my sister and she was giving me some guff about getting older and I mentioned to her that she had 3 kids and was 30 so she's officially an adult now. That realization seemed to hit her harder than me hitting 40.

    I think my point is that 30 seems like a tough one to me.
  • All of us will be dead soon

    All of us are made from material created in the earliest stars. We really are starlight . . . or dust to dust if you prefer . . .

    Ecclesiastes 1:2
    Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

    Now what?
    Buddha party?
  • You are only as old as you think you are.

    The age thing... gets old!
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    love your profile pic, @riverflow! Loved seeing SO many of them today. Overwhelming, in a good way! Sometimes it's nice to feel that solidarity with others, even if our path is more solitary.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    Reminds me of something my teacher said once. He said "If you die when you are 40 does that mean your were middle aged when you were 20?" LOL

    30 is not even close to being old, unless you die when you are thirty five, then you are really old! But if you live to be 80, then not even close to old. Age is just a number. :D

  • It's okay for you to feel this way. The truth is that you are not the same person-- even the same body-- that you were years ago. All of your old cells are gone and you are new cells now. And you didn't even realize it!

    In recent years, I think I've clung to the aging thing way too much. I think the fear of death caused me a lot of anxiety, and I didn't realize it because I was pushing into my subconscious. I turned 39 at the end of last year. I think I have felt devastated, deep down inside. But I am starting (thanks to Buddhism) to let go of the issues with age and dying. All of this has shown me that in spite of my idea of myself as being open minded and not a shallow person, I have acted unkind at my own self for way too long. I haven't given myself the respect I deserve.

    We can't control aging. Some people are wrapped up in doing everything they can, sparing no expense, at trying to not age. I think this is a way of not accepting the inevitable, and I think that it is damaging to one's psyche to think you can fool death and the aging process. No amount of plastic surgery is going to keep anyone out of the grave. If you spend the last 30-50 years of your life trying to make your body be young, you've wasted all of that precious time in the wrong state of mind. How will you ever be able to accept death if you've invested so much time and energy trying to prevent it? I no longer feel jealous for people who are trying to outrun the grim reaper-- the ones that look like they are in their mid twenties when they are actually 45. Instead I feel sympathy for them, because they are obviously suffering so much on the inside. These are just some thoughts I've had lately.

    And as some other have mentioned, I also feel that my thirties have been the BEST years of my life! I have had the most sane mind, thus far, and have enjoyed better financial stability. I have been a much better parent than I was in my twenties. I am able to make better choices for myself and others. Yeah, I wouldn't have chosen to go back to my 20's if someone paid me, I don't care how much better looking or "fun" I was. Try not to focus on the past-- that is just a waste of time and it can prevent you from living now. Have faith that your future is going to be brighter than your past, because it will, but only if you allow it!
  • The last birthday where I was happy to be a year older was when I turned 21.

    It doesn't get any better. That's life.

  • Even though I am only 24 I also have been contemplating how quickly things are moving ahead, soon I will be 30 and then before I know it 40 etc, just as zombiegirl stated. If it is any consolation you don't 27, you look about my age I would say (from what I know).

    I think however it is wise to have an insight into aging and death as we all are going to go through it one way or another, experience people we love and care for go through it, so it is a good thing to not be totally ignorant to it. Again the middle way (this should be my catch phrase or something), finding a middle way between fearing it and being ignorant to it via insight and concentration, in Buddhist terminology, when the mind is fit to work.
  • I wish you only the best of things, Zombiegirl. You will navigate through this in your own unique way.

    I'm 48. Musically, I decided I'm gonna like what I'm gonna like without regard to what others listen to. LOL! Does that make me pop-culture illiterate? Sometimes. I do look at the Yahoo entertainment page once in a while.

    For me, my advancing age has yielded some pluses that, at the moment, are outweighing the minuses. ... indeed, all things are impermanent... :)

    If my life span is true to statistics, then I have perhaps another 25 years or so of this life. Am I scared of my own death? I'm not sure. But, I am sure I will examine my pending death in my dharma-practice.

    My point is you'll do a fine job of navigating. I believe you gain far more than you lose the older you get (no, I'm not talking about weight!).

    Best to you!

  • Im 22 the students i support are like 16-20 and i felt like i was of a different generation when none of them knew who the 'Lurpak man' was. Dont worry you are only as old as you feel. I am 22 but i still laugh at rude words and i love that about me. Love and embrace who you are no matter where the 'you' is. Or you could say this may be coming from the ego and you just act upon it from that angle.

    I plan to grow old disgracefully.

    All the best.
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran
    Don't worry about it 28 is the new 18. :)
  • I've heard more than one person say that at 70 years they still felt so incredibly young. Although it takes hard work, I'm sure that even at an old age you can feel full of life, happy, playful and all those things.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited March 2013
    idk, ZG. The transition from 20-something to 30-something was imperceptible for me. I don't know what the big deal is about. It's just numbers. People evolve. That's a good thing.

    "Smile lines"? At 30?? idk. They were probably already there, but this big number people get worked up about, all the ones that end in a "0" is causing you to notice them and fret about 'em. Sounds like you've been programmed. Programmed to create your own suffering, at the toll of a birthday.

    De-program. You'll be happier. :thumbsup: That's what Buddhist practice is about.
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