This will probably sound weird to many of my readers, but at 22 I feel old. Not like decrepit old. I’m not having hip problems, I didn’t join AARP, I’m not internalizing my racism as totally normal behavior. I’m just feeling old.
Perhaps it’s because my girlfriend keeps pointing out that there are gray hairs in my beard. I shout for her to pluck them out, but she says they’re “cute.” My beard isn’t cute. It’s manly!
That’s irrelevant. I’m not feeling old because of my gray hair (at 22! Can you believe it? First my eyesight, now this!); I’m feeling old because I am by comparison. When I’m on campus at IWU — which is still quite a bit — I look around and see people younger than me. Not a lot younger, just a little bit younger. Young enough. And they’re always doing college things, like studying. Suddenly, I don’t do college stuff, and it feels weird. Alien even.
But it isn’t all bad. The other day I received a Christmas card. Yes, it arrived quite late due to an address mix-up, but it still made me happy. If I were younger, I’d be disappointed because it was just a card with no money included. Now, when I need money the most, I’m just happy to have someone thinking positively of me.
Perhaps I’m not just getting old. Maybe I’m maturing too.