Seated cosily on a couch, my new friend and I were sharing our thoughts on life eagerly. Even though I had spoken to her many times over the phone, this was our first meeting in person. We were sharing our life stories, listening and interacting with deep intent.
At a certain point she asked,
‘Can I ask you a personal question?’
‘Yes , surely!’
‘How old are you?’
She asked almost as if she felt that the question might have made me uncomfortable.
I quite readily disclosed my age and so did she.
And we carried on our conversation about splendid things under the sun.
But this moment of inquisitiveness got me wondering about the concept of age.
Why does a purely chronological fact make one feel uncomfortable?
I feel that when one is confronted with this question, deep inside, it feels like a moment of reckoning.
He starts to evaluate the worth of his own self and his time on Earth. It gets him wondering if he is the best he could have been at his present age.
We all have a certain idea about our age. There is a societal checklist so to say, of things you must accomplish before a certain age. Then, there are personal ambitions and goals one visualizes in his ideal self that he must fulfill by a certain time in his life.
But these societal and individual checklists are the best case scenarios, the abstract version of an ideal reality.
If one is judging his worth against these parameters, he’s surely trying to hide his age, because the ideal scenario never exists in real life.
In my opinion, we should rethink the concept of age altogether. We have a certain, non negotiable biological age. There’s no denying that.
But I feel we represent a different age at different moments in life.
We are youthful and alive in the company of friends, carefree and childlike when around kids, a curious student in front of our old teachers, avuncular mentors for young students, and always a child for our parents.
We are 4 years old at one moment, 24 at another. It depends on the context and the company ,doesn’t it?
One can only truly feel comfortable in his age when he is aware and accepting of how our age morphs from time to time .
For me my biological age doesn’t matter so much.
As long as I am old enough to be responsible of my actions and youthful enough to be childlike as situations arise,
I have made peace with the number of trips I’ve made around the sun.
I turn 28 soon.
But that, as they say, is just a number !