“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?
As someone who has only lived on this earth for less than twenty years, it’s hard not to think about age. Every single year brings about changes to myself and my surroundings.
I spent a lot of time growing up wishing I were already grown up. I hear it’s a common problem. When I was 12, I wanted to be 13 so I could watch PG-13 movies like a big kid. When I was 15, I wanted to be 16 so I could volunteer at the SPCA and play with puppies all day. When I was 17, I wanted to be 18 so I could have legal independence.
When I was 13, I stopped caring about watching those movies, and all I wanted was to be 14. When I was 16, I found out I was allergic to cats and wouldn’t be able to spend much time in the SPCA, so I waited for my 17th birthday. When I turned 18, I found out that legal independence means nothing to my parents and that I will forever be their baby girl. And despite all of this, I, like so many of my peers, cannot wait until I turn 21. It’s an incurable disease.
I don’t even try to ignore age, because at this point in my life, it’s too important to me and everyone around me. I’ll start ignoring my age when I feel like it’s not in my way anymore, when it really is just a number and not a label that makes me “12, quiet, can’t watch PG-13 movies,” or “17, teenager, probably too irresponsible to do that.” I’ll start ignoring my age when people don’t describe me as an 18-year-old but as a sister, daughter, maybe even mother, and hopefully employed.
I tend to get quite angsty when it comes to this topic. I hear it’s typical with kids my age.