Aging is an epidemic, like the zombie apocalypse
Aging is inevitable. You can’t stop it from happening. Your only hope is that you last long enough before biting it. This year, many of my friends are turning the big 4-0. As I celebrate all of their birthdays, it’s also leading me to question my own morality.
In general, I’ve never been someone who gave much thought to my age. Most of my friends tend to be older than me, so I am usually one of the youngest people in the room. The only time that my age ever really got to me was when I had a quarter life crisis. Though it was initiated by an actor that I was profiling who ended up being the same age as me, it didn’t have as much to do with my age as my accomplishments up until that point.
Wouldn’t that make the best horror movie though? A deranged, youth obsessed person kills everyone younger and more fabulous than them? Pass the popcorn, I would watch the heck out of that movie.
On the eve of my own thirtieth birthday a wise sage told me that the upcoming decade would be much better than the one I was leaving. The reasoning was basically that a lot of the bullshit we deal with in our twenties fades away. But the thing was that I thought my twenties were actually pretty good.
I can unequivocally say that I enjoyed my twenties. There are definitely some things that I would have changed. But that’s actually part of why I enjoyed the decade. For the most part, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so things were a little bit easier. Plus, there were a lot of big milestones – graduating college, moving out on my own, getting my first job, etc.
On the other hand, I started my thirties on funemployment, and racked up a lot of debt over the following two years until I found the right job. The problems that you encounter in your thirties are also much larger. Now as a millennial, obviously I haven’t bought a house or started a family yet because we are too poor and have been delaying milestones. So, I’m in my mid-thirties – and I will stab anyone who tries to say otherwise – sitting in my rented apartment and doing a solo Netflix and chill date.
I remember maybe right around my thirtieth birthday; I was at a bar where a friend bartended. We would go hang out with him until it got busy and then move on with our night. There were always these old creepy guys who would come and ogle him, maybe ask for a back rub. I said to someone, “If I ever turn into that, please shoot me.” I was embarrassed for them, but I don’t think they were embarrassed at all. Each week they showed up at the bar and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Looking back, have times changed? When we were kids, forty meant something different for our parents. If you were of a certain age and not settled down, there was something wrong with you. However, I did a *VERY* scientific poll on Instagram to find out if 40 was considered middle aged. After 12 hours, the results were split exactly down the middle. Some said that it did still constitute the beginning of middle age, while the other half disagreed. I guess it makes sense considering that we live in a world where every week we see a new headline proclaiming, “Sixty is the new 25” or “Menopause is the new puberty.” But if people are feeling younger than they did before, why do I feel like my body is breaking down?
If you asked the boo how old I act, the answer would (based on music and television tastes) probably be somewhere in the range of a twelve-year-old girl. Most of the time, I don’t mentally feel the age that is printed on my driver’s license. Yet, every morning when I wake up there is a new ache or pain to address before starting my day. Last week, I sprained my wrist while. sleeping. in. my. bed. I woke up and had to figure out what happened.
What am I doing wrong? I stay active as much as possible and have cut back on my drinking. But I also come home from work most days and am exhausted.
So, I ask… can I be a twentysomething trapped in an 87-year-old’s body? Am I just breaking down? I tell my co-workers that I want a motorized scooter for my birthday. They think I’m joking; little do they know that it’s the scooter and Botox that I have on my Christmas list already.
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob