Updated: Mar 17, 2020
I recently turned 35, although I have always thought of myself as an old man due to my health problems. I am finding though that the older I get, the more I like the age I am. When I was younger, I always tried to act older. And I know sometimes as people age, they try to act or look younger.
It can be a challenge sometimes for me to live "in the now" and experience my actual age. Sometimes experiencing my actual age can mean feeling awkward. I remember when I was going into my teen years and started to grow facial hair, I felt like it looked awful because I was so young and yet I also wanted to look older.
Turning 35 for me was a little scary at first as it meant I was growing older, but then I thought to myself I was a little scared of turning 34 last year as well. It’s only scary if you think it’s scary. Getting older is just part of life.
In fact, I don’t feel my age at all.
In many ways I feel I have an old soul, especially when it comes to respecting older and more knowledgable generations, such as, “the Greatest Generation,” which my father was a part of. I have always loved to listen to old stories, especially the war stories of those that have come before me. I always asked my dad and mom’s dad about their experiences. I have always wondered, especially since my dad has now passed and is part of the ages, how he grew up without electricity in Boston. To think how he survived those winters alone amazes me.
When my dad was in his late 80s, whenever people around him would talk about their age and how old they felt, my dad would just roll his eyes. When friends of my parents would talk about how old their friends were or if they knew somebody who was in their 70s, my dad would jokingly say, “he's just a child.”
People have a hard time sometimes staying in the present, as we are always looking into the future and the past for meaning. Perhaps we do this because we are not completely happy with the present, and we look for meaning in memories from the past. Sometimes the past can haunt us as well. I think if we can make the present be the best it can be, then perhaps the past won’t haunt us as much and the future will be even more bright. As I get older, I think more about my own mortality. But what helps me is to stay in the here and now. Now at 35, I hope to finish making a documentary about my father that I have been working on and to open up a whisky distillery.
After seeing my dad live to 93, I remind myself that we are just bodies and that age is just a number. I know thinking this way makes me feel a lot better and erases a lot of fears about growing older. Remember: we also grow wiser.