The Aging Game

The Aging Game
Nick BrothersThe Free Weekly Managing Editor

Nick Brothers
The Free Weekly Managing Editor

Last Friday I turned 23.

Now, I love birthdays. They are a day culturally accepted for everyone to at least acknowledge you’re alive another year and wish you well. It’s a great pick-me-up in a year, and I love sharing the celebration with friends and family.

I’ve been thinking a lot about it all. With growing older, there’s a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s cool to grow wiser and be able to reflect on more of your life. On the other, in a nutshell, it’s goodbye to more of your youth and hello to old age, “adulthood” and more health problems. It doesn’t help that Google searching “Turning 23” is met with a series of articles on the web about how it’s a difficult, confusing and straight up challenging year. So, uh, hell yeah?

Maybe I’m speaking prematurely, but being 23 is an odd age. At 23, most of us are adjusting to adulthood, whether we like it or not. It’s a lot of realizations, a lot of questions left unanswered, and a lot of searching for validation in the choices we’ve made. Hangovers really hurt now, and junk food and soda actually make you feel like crap. We question if we are where we want to be. Not to mention, any real amount of time spent analyzing these questions can lead to a quick, slippery slope of a dark hole of frustration, sadness and Ben and Jerrys.

If there’s one skill human nature has, it seems to be the ability of seeking out flaws. I mean, we’re the best at it. I highly doubt squirrels care about their acorn collecting technique. Along with this ability, we’re able to see where things can always be improved. That’s got to be why we’ve progressed so much as a race. In general, it is hard to completely satisfy a human — especially when we can perceive better realities.

In terms of expression, most of my life has been led in frustration. It’s always seemed like the things I’ve wanted to achieve, create or say were always just short of how I’d envisioned them. I’m always quick to see where I think it’s flawed. Naturally, I look elsewhere and size myself up. That’s a tough road to go down, and something I don’t recommend. However, it seems like it’s something I can’t control, it’s just how it goes.

I share my birthday (Feb. 20) with a kinda famous person by the name of Kurt Kobain. Love or hate the guy, he said something once that really struck me, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” That’s some wise, next level stuff right there. I think it applies to what I’m trying to say here.

We’re all busy trying to build who we are, and a lot of times we are met with harsh, self-dissatisfaction. Here’s the thing, we’re all artists in one way or another, trying to achieve some level of expression. We do it in how we love, how we work, what we say and how we build our lives. There’s no strict set of instructions (which is both terrifying and exciting), and like Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the standards are all made up (but probably do matter).

I suppose what I’m saying is, I’m learning at 23 that as hard as everything is and will be, that little nagging feeling is what’s pushing me to better myself. I don’t know if you feel that way, too, but I certainly think it will help in the long run. You can hate it, but don’t deter from it. If you’re feeling that self-dissatisfaction, know you aren’t alone.

Maybe I’m taking things too seriously. Maybe I should just calm down and enjoy life while I’m young. I’m just trying to write an insightful column, after all. What’s a column without a little bit of melancholy though, right? Maybe I should just stop writing all together, I’ll never be great. No, that’s stupid, don’t be so hard on yourself… Oh, are you still reading this?

Thanks for reading. Cheers to my fellow twenty-somethings.

Categories: Commentary
Tags: 23, Age