Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

I'm younger than that now

Another fragment from the vaults (and from the department of the bleeding obvious), because I am too tired to manage anything more contentful. I am glad I publicly resolved to go through these things in alphabetical order and actually get them out of the way, otherwise I would have skipped this one and it would have sat there making me feel obscurely guilty for another MILLION YEARS.
I've been thinking a lot about age recently; feeling young, feeling old, it's all relative. My perception of my age seems to change more or less daily; and it's not just as simple as (for example) talking to students making me feel old, and talking to grandparents making me feel young.

My parents have got younger and younger as I've got older. When I was tiny, they didn't have an age (how could you tell how old somebody was if they didn't have cakes with candles on and you didn't know what class they were in at school?); and when I was older and more annoying they were clearly ancient; and when I was a teenager they were just the older generation and therefore Didn't Understand Me (yawn); and when I was a student and chatting online to people who were approximately midway between my age and my parents' ages I started to realise just how flexible it all was (and that the lines between 'generations' were really quite fuzzy and not terribly useful), and they started to seem younger and younger. These days I reckon they're in the same age-group as the rest of my friends-group. My office-mate (he of the birthday card) was born in the same year as my dad.

And I look at photos of my parents from when I was a baby and think "bloody hell, they look younger than I am now", and realise that that's because they were. It's like time-travel. I'm having the same disconnect with the bands I used to like, the teenage crushes; I'm older now than Loz Hardy from Kingmaker was when I was a squealing fangirl. He claimed he was going to kill himself at the age of 23 because it was better to burn out than to fade away, better to die before you got old. Twenty-three. Okay, so he was an idiot, and fortunately didn't follow through on that threat, but honestly.

It's not so much about age, though, as about experience; not the having-done-stuff sort of experience, but the having-been-there sort. Seeing the moon landings the first time round. Remembering. In a lot of ways I feel more aligned with a half-generation above me: remembering LPs, and the early home computers, and so on.
I probably could have wittered on about this for another few pages. The only thing I'd add to all this obviousness (you can probably guess) is that it's extremely odd to read this stuff again while being kicked quite determinedly in the innards by the next generation.
Tags: age, nablopomo
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