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.