A few days ago three work colleagues (one male and two females) from another department questioned my age. Their age category is under 30. Never before did we converse about our personal lives. We spoke about kids and somehow I revealed the age of my girls. They assumed that I had my daughters at a young age and judging my current age to be in the range of 29 – 31.
Now you know what happens when people assume. They make an ass out of u and me.
Of course I burst out laughing and thanked them for guesstimating my age to be about 10 years younger than what I actually am.
Revealing that I was in fact a 40 something year old woman came as a shock to them.
“Really, you are lying”, “we don’t believe you”. Until I produced my driver’s license as evidence.
“Wow, you would never say”, they gasped. Still looking at me in disbelief but also somewhat embarrassed that they assumed I was younger.
Them putting me in this age category is in actual fact a compliment.
In retrospect; there was always a question mark next to my age. I started school at the age of 5 and ended my schooling at 17; making me younger than my peers. Remembering when we had our first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, I was the only one out of my circle of friends who couldn’t vote as I only turned 18 in June.
Asked to produce my ID when I entered a night club for the first time. At my first job interview, I was told I look very young although my Identity Number was listed and copy op my ID was attached to my CV. Or could it be that I rocked up covered in blistering pimples dabbed with calamine lotion as I had chicken pox. They obviously didn’t know adults can also get childhood diseases. Needless to say, I got the job.
Revealing my age was something I was never ashamed of. Somehow I always had to validate it. People always assume I’m considerably younger than what I actually am.
Questioning someone’s age by judging them on face value, height, appearances or image often happens. Everyone gets older; some may look older than what they are and others younger. Others act their age, some still try to keep up with those much younger than them and others act much older than what they really are.
Now in my 40’s I’ve grown as a person and I’m wiser than what I was in my 20’s and 30’s. As you grow older you have the odd aches and pains, there are certain activities that I can’t do so well that I could do with ease when I was younger. I’ve gone a little gray, have frown lines and my body has sagged in places that I never thought possible. However these things do not define my age. There is nothing that a little hair colour, concealer, push up bra and body shaper can’t fix.
Age is literally just a number. It’s more about how you feel. Perhaps you feel young at heart, live a healthy lifestyle, projecting a positive attitude and have a zest for life. This might give you a younger appearance.
It may be that the stresses and demands of life are draining your energy levels and this has an impact on your skin, appearance and wellbeing. Making you look slightly older than what you actually are.
Society dictates and puts a lot of pressure on age. They require you to look and act a certain way at a certain age. This is where age comes into question and it is made more than just that number.
Age is measured in various categories – example infant, toddler, preschooler, school age, tween, teenager, adolescent, young adult, older adult and senior. Development, maturity, restrictions, legal responsibilities and retirement brings age into question. Age is also labeled when you can’t order from the kiddies menu because you older than 12, you can’t get a discount because you not under 25 or 60 and older or when you can’t enter a competition because you either too young or too old. Because of these labels, we are compelled to validate our age.
Bottomline, we all grow older and every year another number is added to our age. Don’t place value on this number. Instead, be proud of your age and don’t make it more than just that number.
Whether you look or act your age – it doesn’t matter. Just live your best life!