Today’s Daily Prompt asks for our views on aging, and how we will stay ‘young at heart’.
The thing is, (and I know everyone says this but bear with me) I think I’m old beyond my years. I’m 22, and the most exciting things in my life right now are wine, coffee, and my new slow cooker.
And in a very weird coincidental moment, my roommate just sent me a message to inform me that we are now the proud owners of a knife block. See what I mean? What kind of university students have a knife block? Or a coffee grinder? I don’t do shots, I don’t go to clubs, I certainly do NOT live off of KD or those noodle cup things… I don’t see the appeal in the student life.
But then, maybe I’m defining youth the wrong way. What youth means to me isn’t getting drunk and being irresponsible (yes, not owning a coffee grinder is irresponsible. So is not refrigerating your beans. Or, you know, drinking instant coffee… yuck!!) Youth is being able to buy a ticket to watch a Disney movie with your older sister and walk into the theatre with your head held high, because you know what? Children’s literature is awesome. At least, the good stuff is. And so are children’s movies. Some of them are garbage, just like how some adult things are garbage, but that’s not the point – the point is, things that are made for kids are more magical, and more powerful, than a lot of the things you’re “supposed” to enjoy as an adult.
Would I rather read Game of Thrones or Harry Potter? The answer is no. I want both. I will always, always want both. Unless it’s the HP movies because those are the absolute worst and I never want those.
I always thought, in high school, that you can judge someone’s maturity by how repelled they are by “kid stuff”. When you’re a kid, you love kid stuff, and you love without boundaries. Once you hit 11 or 12, you are completely repulsed by anything for kids, because you are a pre-teen now, and you’re not supposed to like kid stuff. Then, magically, around the age of 16 or 17 for most, your head starts to clear and one day your little cousins are watching The Lion King and you just happen to sit with them and before you know it you’re crying hysterically while Simba tries to wake up Mufasa, and the kids are just staring at you. The next thing you know, you’re 19, and you’re the coolest kid in your Psych 101 lecture because you showed up with Dunkaroos.
It all comes full circle. People always point out that the (extremely) elderly are like babies, but I think there’s much more to it than that. The single strongest measure of maturity is confidence. Kids are wise, in that way. They know who they are and what they like and what they want. It only goes away as they get older, and then you have to fight to win it back. Learning to be a kid again, without hating yourself for it, is aging, and maturity.
I have no idea what any of that meant, but I have to do laundry because I’m a grown up or something, so I don’t have time to work through it. Good luck deciphering my thoughts.