Lately I have noticed that most of the people around me in, or nearby, my generation, seem to denote their age with either an apology, or a justification. What exactly does 40 feel like? How about 35? How about 45? For that matter, how exactly does 25 feel like? When someone states their age as “I’m 38, but I don’t feel like it”, what are they actually saying?
To me, it feels like just another societal distaste of aging, and more proof that we exist in a youth culture.
Now, I know I have never been one to “act my age” (again, what does that mean?). I used to joke and say I was just immature, and then later a friend/co-worker and I decided that it was more like we were financially-immature, as in we did not have the trappings of our age that society seemed to deem definitive. We did not own a home, or spend our days contemplating new patio furniture to buy, or what private school our kids would go to. But, did that make us any better? Did it make us more alternative? The punk rock thirty and/or forty-somethings who were rebelling by “not acting their age”. Again, what does that mean? How is 30, or 40, or 20 act like exactly?
To me, it all still feels like we are apologizing for aging. As if there is something wrong with being alive for awhile. Does it not add to our knowledge and life experience to become older? Do we not gain more of the stuff that great storytelling is made of? Do we not develop the confidence that comes with being alive year after year?
And, no, don’t come to me with the “40 is the new 20” crap because that is an apology for being 40, as well. Why does 40 have to be 20? What is so wrong with being 40?
Am I the real punk rock rebel for actually loving being in my 40’s? Being alive, right now, today, at 43, is golden to me.
Golden Years (live) :: David Bowie