i’m not the cool kind of old anymore.

so, i didn’t have an actual conversation today (even though i sat in starbucks, writing for four hours). but i did overhear one that killed a little bit of my soul:

“…[my coworkers aren’t] old but they’re all 30 plus, so it’s not like we could hang out on the weekends.”

burn.

i’m becoming more aware of mentions of age and mostly by people in their early 20s. i forget that i’m months away from turning the big 3-0–which means i’ve been out of high school for almost 11 years, out of college for almost 8, and nearing an age where conversations revolve around babies, 401 ks, and eye cream. it also means that i’m 10 years older than a person entering their 20s. so why do i foolishly continue to assume i have something in common with my younger generation? i suppose it’s because i still feel young. i still feel like college graduation, my first job interview, turning 21 was just yesterday. but it wasn’t.

it’s not like i regret anything. or wish i could pull a tom hanks in big. i don’t miss being single. or having acne. or figuring out who my friends are and who they’re not. i don’t miss any of that. in fact, i love being 29. it’s not the age difference that gets me down. it’s the awareness that in someone’s eyes, i’m old. and not the cool kind of old, like 18. or 21. but the kind of old that seems lame.

it’s shocking, the first time it happens. my first time was here in starbucks. “he’s old. he’s like 28.” i wanted to yell, “well then you’re a big baby!” but thought better of it. because if all i’m concerened about is how some stranger perceives my age–not even my age, an age–then why should i care? i don’t know them. they don’t know me. it’s not a personal attack. besides, give them 9 years. they’ll find themselves on the opposite end of that conversation.

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About Robin Puelma

Freelance writer with a passion for crafting stories for middle-graders and beyond.

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