As I was leaving the gym after teaching my Spin class I heard one young woman behind me say to her friend, “I just turned eighteen so I’m just getting used to being eighteen.” I turned around to see two very lovely young women. They looked so young and so naïve. I thought to myself, “I’m trying to get used to the fact that I am almost old enough to get on Medicare and collect my SSI!
I can tell you a blink ago I was eighteen. At eighteen you are consider an adult and now responsible for your actions. But eighteen is very young. What do you know of the world at eighteen? Most young people are still under the care of their parents unless you were like me and on your own at eighteen.
I knew nothing of the world and so set out to learn in the school of hard knocks. Unsheltered and naïve I stumbled and made many mistakes. But somehow back then it all seemed right. Everyone was a bit more mature, a lot less privileged and searching to be free. After all we were the hippie generation with free love and peace. Ahh… to live in the ideals of youth!
I wanted to stop and ask the young lady what she was adjusting to? But I didn’t. Was it the number eighteen, her new found adultness or the fact that she is so young and beautiful and her whole adult life is ahead of her? I’m adjusting also to my number, my senior-ness and looking at my life as more behind me than in front of me.
But would I be eighteen again? No, the angst of maturing through life is something I don’t want to repeat. I’m rather comfortable in my own skin and rather wise to the world. I’m not questioning. I’m appreciating where I have been, where I am at and where I hope to go.
I’m just getting used to the number that comes with being a senior citizen.