06 Aug Themes: Older Than My Age

are we living in the future / are we never in the now 
when we’re speeding like a bullet and we’re never slowing down 

we’re the fathers of invention / give it legs and make it stand 
busy making our tomorrow / gonna hold it in our hands 

can’t stop thinking that something’s gotta change 
can’t help feeling so much older than my age 

all our heads are in the clouds now / and our feet are floating too 
but we feel the weight of life and death in everything we ever do 

can’t stop thinking that something’s gotta change 
can’t help feeling so much older than my age 

I’m 29 years old, only a handful of months away from 30, and my situation is what you’d expect of the average nearly-30 year old in this country: in the early years of career, marriage, mortgage – figuring out how to be an adult and still feeling like a kid. When you are a kid, the gap between you and a grownup is this enormous, mysterious thing; adults know everything, take care of everything, do everything. Becoming one feels un-mysterious in that sense, but you find plenty of new mystery in its place.

In the mix of all the transition are contradictory feelings of “I’ve got this, I’m ready, get me to the top of my game” and “what the hell am I doing here? I can’t do anything, I’m going back to bed.” Our passions and hopes propel us forward, and our insecurities and inexperience tug on the leash. Young adulthood (and, I suspect, the rest of life) is a combination of earnestness, arrogance, foolhardiness, innovation, fear, sacrifice, disappointment, elation, love, achievement, and failure.

It’s the first time most of us begin to face our mortality with any honesty. Our parents are looking older, and our grandparents are gone or are nearing the end of their lives. We’re having children and seeing just how fast things change. We’re still told that we’re young, that our entire lives are ahead of us, but there’s more behind us than there’s ever been, and that makes us feel older than we are. Or at least it makes me feel that way.

All of these things have been churning in my mind for the last few years, and are the lens for Older Than My Age – and for the rest of the Can’t Live Forever project.

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