Just a Number?


When I was a young teen, a band released an album with the title of, “Age is Just a Number.” I think it was by the artist Four Non Blondes, but if I’m wrong about that, (or about the title itself) blame it on my “old age.”

I just turned thirty.

When in my early twenties, a co-worker of mine was nearing her thirtieth birthday. She went through some psycho-somatic form of depression for a month before, and I think a month or two afterward as well.

The way I think of it is, there will always be people older than you, and there will always be people younger than you.

Why get depressed over an age just because it has a zero at the end, or has a certain stigma (societal or otherwise) attached to it?

The other day a friend told me that thirty is a good age. She said you have enough experience under your belt to start being wiser, but you’re young enough to still enjoy it. All I could say was, “I certainly hope so,” – about both the wisdom and the enjoyment.

I guess I’ll find out.

The wisdom definitely did not fill my mind the moment I woke up this morning. But perhaps (and hopefully) I have gleaned a bit from the past few decades of experience.

Let’s see.

If I had any advice to give people in the few decades I just completed, it would probably be something like this:

To those still in their first decade (aka children) …

Don’t let anyone try to make you grow up faster than you have to, including yourself. You have all the rest of your life to be a “grown up,” an adult. Enjoy being a kid.

To those in their second decade (aka teenagers) …

Don’t let society tell you how long you need to act like a teenager before you start knowing who you are and what you want to be. These days, in some cultures, it seems they’ve extended it to 35 years old or so in some cultures.

I was 11 when I knew what I was called to do. It took a little longer for me to figure myself out, but I’ve come to realize that’s okay.

And don’t think that someone can’t understand you just because they’re “too old.” Age is just a number, remember? There are those who’ve lived long enough to have a few things to share, and it just might do good to take time to listen to what they have to say.

To those in their 20s…

If you find that your emotions, your thoughts, and even your mental state at times go through greater upheaval than in your teen years, don’t worry.

I’ve discovered that the most difficult and intense times in my life come right before some kind of resolution or breakthrough, and that it’s “all part of growing up.”

And to all of you in your 30s…

Watch out everybody, here I come.

I’m thirty, and I know it’s going to be the best year yet.

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