Have you ever had one of those days where a single minute challenged your understanding of the universe? I have. The story, it goeth thusly:
Today, in the middle of applying for jobs and tweaking minor edits on my pilot script, I found myself confronted with an ominous question on an anonymous online survey.
Like any normal person, I thought ‘well, that’s not so hard. I’m…’
I had absolutely no idea how old I was. At all. I had an idea of what age I thought I should be, but the actual, concrete figure?
Wiped from the memory banks.
Now, full disclosure, I do have a habit of mis-remembering my age; it’s an occupational hazard of playing so many characters so much younger than myself. I’ve misremembered my age so often I probably look a touch mentally unbalanced every time I introduce myself.
It doesn’t help that I’m often mistaken for much younger than I am.
But this was the first time I’ve ever had absolutely no idea what my real age was. I had to do that thing where you use math to figure out other people’s ages, but I had to do that thing with myself. I had to math out my age. And once the power of math gave me my real age, I looked at the number and went…
“But… no. No, though.”
Complete, utter rejection.
I didn’t feel like that number. I didn’t remember ever identifying as that number. I didn’t remember the birthday I had in which I acknowledged turning that number.
I had a full-on existential crisis. What is the meaning of age? What is my place in this world? What is life? Entropy! Perception! The slow expansion and unproved eventual stagnation of the universe! Sartre!
I actually had to call up my parents and verify that that was my actual age.
Actually. That is a real action I took. I was that much in denial.
But I am indeed that age. And I’m told this is a thing that happens to people now and then, my age forward. I now know it is entirely possible to completely forget how old you are. How crazy is that?
The moral of the story, boys and girls, is that time is fleeting and age is relative. We grow up thinking that reaching a certain number in years automatically means reaching a certain maturity and stability in life, but really, that assumption only remains applicable through puberty. Once we hit 21, our puny numerical system of measuring life’s experiences doesn’t actually tell us anything about where we are in life. The numbers, in fact, are kind of irrelevant.
So don’t look at your age and judge yourself or your accomplishments based off of where you think the numbers say you should be. Because that’s just silly. Numbers can’t talk.
The other moral of the story is that I have an absolutely terrible memory.
Like, surprisingly awful. Worse than a goldfish. This is why I need a blog, so I can record my experiences before they’re wiped from the annals of history.
And that’s the story, morning glory. Stay classy.