I was in Stockholm yesterday. I wasn’t really sure about how the subway system worked, so I inquired the lady behind the counter about it. Laying out some information about it, she mentioned that people 20 and over travelled cheaper, but said I was surely over 20. My answer was no, and she seemed quite surprised about it. I suppose I seem old. I’m not sure why, perhaps my receding hairline and my moustache has something to do about it. A few years ago, I must’ve been 15 at the time, I had PRAO at Stockholm’s university with my sister and the student council there (I think?), and at some point one of her colleagues proposed I follow her with some class from one of the schools in Stockholm on a little tour there. Sure enough, I went there. The class seemed a bit rowdy. Anyway, at the end of it it seems at least some of them had thought I was a teacher at the university…

Now, today one of sisters have her 29th birthday. Tomorrow will be my grandmother’s 86th birthday, which is why I’m up in the north again. I’m currently 18. I do not feel I have the emotional maturity of a young adult. And when I turned 18, suddenly I have been started to be treated as a responsible human being overnight. I guess I have that teenage feeling of, at the one hand, having left behind my childhood and, at the other hand, must enter the grown-up world.

In the past, adolescence was quite different from the modern way. It was less of a struggle to enter the world of adults, and more of an age of work. In this sense, our current times has both more and less responsibility. I get a feel from the class I’m in that a “successful” person of my age not only gets good grades, but also has a job and an extensive social network. More balls to juggle. And one is expected to distance oneself from one’s family eventually in a way which was not the same in the past.

I’m wondering why I feel old, or am afraid of getting old. It’s not about inevitably dying. It does not faze me, and is a somewhat silly thing to be worried about because it is inevitable. I think it is more about what I mentioned earlier, that I’m not really sure where I’m going and what I’d like to do. I’m starting the third and last year of upper secondary school this year, and after that I have to have chosen a university to attend or a subject I want to pursue (it’s not obligatory, I suppose, but I think going to the university right afterwards is the safest way). And then there are other questions, as to where am I going to live, how am I going to make ends meet, and so on. It is something I feel really insecure about. Also the bonds I have with my family are subtly stretched more and more. I suppose this is a symptom of post-fordism.

Aging has been described as a sort of process of humiliation as one’s body is gradually becoming degraded. I guess one has to experience it to really be sure of how it is, but it doesn’t seem to worry me very much. I guess I’m about to reach a zenith, where my body is at greatest capacity. No matter. I guess a lot of it with many men is that they start to become less virile sexually. Obviously, this wouldn’t have much of an impact on me.

OK, it’s pretty late at night and this isn’t really the best piece I’ve ever written. But I hope it has inspired some thought.


2 Responses to “Aging”

  1. Blerd Says:

    I think the reason you seem older is because, despite not thinking you are mature for your age, you really are, exceptionally so. Looks wise, imo, there isn’t much difference in 18 and 20.

  2. Miss Friday Says:

    “Such certainty is beautiful,
    but uncertainty is more beautiful still.”

    It’s from a poem, none of us is sure about what will happen in the coming future, but in my opinion uncertainty of life in any age is what makes life interesting. The meaning of life is life itself, take the happiness, sorrow, or whatever life throws on us, and, like people said, age is only a number.

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