On Aging

My age bothers me. It’s not the number, nothing can change that. No, it’s the strange relationship between my life’s trajectory and my age that’s troubled me for some time. I left college at 21 to join a band, I left that band at 26, and I returned to college at 28, I think. Who knows anymore? Time barely matters anyway, especially when no one goes anywhere. I digress. I went into college knowing full well that I’d graduate just before 30. Not a bad thing necessarily, but starting a career at 30 is daunting. Will anyone want this old fuck? Do I want this old fuck?

I approach a lot as though I’m exceptionally old, nearer to death than birth for sure. But, as of writing this in October 2020, I’m 29-years-old. I returned to school at 27 or 28 feeling over the hill.

During the years I was an especially heavy drinker, I was notoriously ill-behaved and mischievous, and often feared what photos, videos, and stories would trickle out after attending a party – most of which I didn’t recall. Point being, my memory isn’t as it should be. I should say that the confusion about my age when I started up college again stems from the false start I had whereby I went to Seton Hall for a few weeks before leaving for financial reasons.

I truly felt like a narc for a semester or two at Rutgers Newark. No one made me feel that way, except me. I just felt too old. I felt like a creep amongst the young. I know, I am the young, just not that young. But, once I got into the journalism-centric classes for my major, I began to see the same people all the time, and developed a rapport. My age became a feature, not a bug. I got along with younger people, they didn’t shun the old creep like I thought they would. 

I know how irrational my thinking about my age is. It’s just a feeling I have. At the time I started at Rutgers, I would see friends my age with houses, long-term partners, possibly kids if pets weren’t enough – then I’d see myself finishing college, virtually in the same place that 21-year-olds are. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m a recent graduate, but school was an excellent experience. I thrived, my professors loved me, my classmates and I got along great, I graduated with highest honors. Not only that, but what I lack in youth, I make up for in experience. I lived a life that few get to. I got to be in a touring band for five years. I lived that life, then I moved on. 

Age is only a number, that’s what people say when you’re approaching death. It’s true though. You’re only as old as you feel and act. I’m older, but I like it. Age has changed me. I don’t like who I was from about 18 to 27. It’s these last few years that I really made some progress as a person, really became who I wanted to be. Those years teach you a lot. College was easy because I knew what to do, how to budget my time, and I was free from the social constraints of college-age socializing. That was none of my business, I had a degree to get and drinking to do at home. I don’t rush around anymore, that’s for the young and impatient. I’m also not worried about my social standing like I was when I was younger, that doesn’t matter at all either. I’m older than most people in my position, but I wouldn’t trade that. Age is a number, but that number only matters if you let it.

Published by Christopher Goodlof

Writer, Visual Artist, Musician

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