The Curse of Youth

by jdeena

This past weekend, I attended an event in Michigan. It was the 3rd annual Lebanese Student Association gala hosted by the student groups from 4 local universities. It was an extremely impressive event, with over 1000 attendees. The hall was beautiful;  really, it was worthy of a wedding. I was really impressed with the dedication of the students to come together and host such an amazing event.

I was there to support a friend who is on the board of one of the student groups. I was also seated with a some friends of mine who were also in college. So needless to say, I was at least 10 years older than the oldest person there. At first, everything was fine. We laughed and joked and I didn’t feel “old” except when they started asking me if I was still in school and how old I was. I still get a kick every time I see a shocked reaction to my age. One girl even said I looked 21 which is so untrue, but was sweet nonetheless.

When the dancing started, that’s when I started to feel my age. I remember the carefree feeling of not caring who I was dancing with at school events; I could look around and see myself surrounded by all my friends. And even though I knew some people at this event, they were, of course, distracted by being with their friends. Which I completely understand. So I just sat quietly and observed the youth in their element and reminisced about my youth.

And at that moment, it occurred to me that I would never be young again. It’s fine to LOOK young and to FEEL young, but I will never actually BE young again. And that thought depressed me. Because as much as I think that I’m still young, I really am not. I will be 33 in a few short months. And while I still don’t believe that age defines a person, I believe that there comes a time when you outgrow certain things.

Would I have had more fun if I was with people my age? Absolutely. And it wasn’t that my friends there were acting in a way that was unacceptable. They were just being their 20 year old selves.

Sometimes I wish I was still at that age, but would I want to go through my 20s again? I don’t think so, but then again I did make plenty of mistakes so I could always rectify that. But who’s to say I wouldn’t make different mistakes? This is the curse of youth- to never fully awaken and to continue to be surrounded by younger people, attend events with them, while the rest of the friends your age mature and move on with their lives. If I spent more time with people who were married, I’d feel more of an urgency to grow up.

I feel stuck in a place where I am suspended alone, caught between growing up and not wanting to grow up at all. I wonder if I could change my license to say I’m 25….but then again, too many people know me for me to be able to pull it off. So for now, I guess I will just have to live this curse until one day I outgrow it.