Demystifying Age: So How Young are You?

Age

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.”       – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez –

I once knew a boy from the village who did not know when he was born. Since he had never attended school, he resumed primary school when he moved to Port Harcourt. That he was bigger than his classmates did not inspire their respect or fear. They teased and provoked him until he abandoned school. I was in secondary school then.

The years rolled by and his voice deepened. The years rolled by and I completed my university education. I planned my life using age as milestone markers. I wonder now, how he planned his; where did his ruler start and how did he measure off millimetres and centimetres on the graph of his aspirations?

Age is just a number, maybe, but with it, we appraise where you are and where you should be. Your age cannot reveal your heart, bury your enthusiasm, or stop your dream unless you let it.

Conversations about age have dominated my circle recently. Five writers whose ages span from early twenties to mid-fifties have joined the conversation. One theme runs through the narratives: age matters, but you must define why for yourself.

When it comes to age, perhaps women have a lot more to say . . .

 

The Other “F” Word

Three years ago, I turned forty. I flipped out even though I knew that the negative ideas about women hitting middle age are misogynistic and wrong. At parties, any time the topic of age came up, I’d leave the room to get a drink so I wouldn’t have to cop to my age. After my ex-boyfriend told me that guys on Match dot com were writing me off because I had “40” in my age box, I thought about lying and saying I was “32” instead. I felt as if my age was my expiration date and I’d become a carton of spoiled milk.

Six months into forty, I realized I had a choice to make. I could keep chastising myself for getting older, or I could stop buying into the messed up ideas around aging that I’d internalized. Considering I’d spent most of my thirties waking up to who I really am and what I really want, I certainly didn’t want to fall asleep again under another sexist spell cast by the patriarchy.

At forty-one, I kicked my sugar habit and became the healthiest I’ve ever been. I started writing my first book. I stopped saying yes when I wanted to say no. I began listening to my instincts more and less to what other people think. I also stopped worrying about men who weren’t interested in me and started to pay attention to the men I found interesting. At forty-two, I met the person I want to grow old with. And even though I don’t look twenty-three anymore, or even thirty-three, I love the way I look today at forty-three.

So far, my forties are proving to be—to use another F-word—(pretty damn) fabulous!

Diahann Reyes @ storiesfromthebelly.com  Read full article

 

No Longer Just a Number

For as long as I can remember, age has always been just a number for me. I shared my age comfortably when I introduced myself, and I never hesitated to give out the real number when asked by those who seemed oblivious of or who disregarded the cardinal rule.

In the past two weeks, however, age has become the measure of my womanhood and the number of chimes ringing from my biological clock. After completing my undergraduate studies in Morocco, I hopped on a plane home. In typical Gambian fashion, I received hearty congratulatory messages and varying expressions of pride from family, friends, and acquaintances, swiftly followed by prayers for a good job, bigger accomplishments, and most importantly, a great husband.

It is the natural order of things here. An undergraduate degree is enough for the woman who had chosen to go beyond high school instead of settling down to start a family. They say, “Time is not on your side.” They say, “You might not be able to bring home a husband when you are ready, because all the men would have been taken.” To their prayers, I mumble, “Amen,” and return to weighing my job options.

I find myself drawn to institutions where I feel my youth will not devalue my qualifications and capabilities. I dress to look ‘older’ for meetings and interviews, so my teenage features will not influence my potential employers’ decisions.

Consequently, I have become more conscious of my age. Twenty-four is no longer just a number. It is a detail that one might only encounter on my résumé.

Jama @ linguerebi.wordpress.com

 

Open Secrets

So is your age a deep secret? Mine isn’t. I celebrated my birthday this year in a blog post, The Lightness of Becoming 55. Since then, I’ve come to realize the post was about embracing my mortality; at eighty-five, my father is dying of cancer. Still, it’s a strange feeling . . . fifty-five. I have a few grey strands that I just gave up plucking! Seriously, fifty-five means I have earned life experience that no one can take away from me.

But, second thoughts creep in: what if people at work discover my age on my blog? What if they start sabotaging me? The reality is that no one cares as much as I do and I would be worrying too much. Besides, over time, that blog post will fade into obscurity as newer posts emerge. As long as I keep exploring my world and I’m open to learning about others, each year of life becomes a gift.

If a much older woman is unwilling to disclose her age, it seems to me that she is afraid of her mortality. Hey, life happens and the years appear suddenly like a breadcrumb trail behind you! More Hollywood actresses are disclosing their ages. This is a good trend or is it just the paparazzi trying to sell news?

Fifty-five equals two high-five hands clapping in jubilation and spontaneity. I’m finding my place in life with my own hands and sharing it with others. To do this, I listen to the best positive timbre of my voice. As I age, that voice becomes more poignant but rich.

Jean @ cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com

 

None of Your Beeswax!

How old are you? When did the question become as invasive as a stranger asking, “What size is your bra?” I first heard that you don’t ask a lady her age, in Nigeria and then, I imbibed it. Yet in The Netherlands, the receptionist at the Gemeente asks, “Wat is uw geboortedatum?” with the clinical detachment of a gynaecologist examining my cervix, and I respond, no pomp, no pageantry.

One day, I looked at my neighbour’s BMW X5, and wondered what he earned. I did not ask him when he stopped for a chit-chat as he walked his dogs because it was none of my business. I calculated the value of his house, googled what a man in his position would earn, took into consideration that his wife is the daughter of a former diplomat, and that they owned a boat. I knew enough.

How old am I? I sing Davido’s Aye, with my twelve-year-old niece and tell friends in their twenties, “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt thrice, and moved on!” I discuss my blog posts pre-publication with my buddy who is forty-five and debate the existence of God with a sixty-five-year-old atheist. I am as young or as old as I want to be.

But, when I try on those leather-look skinnies in Zara, and turn to the side, then look at my behind, I shake my head as the attendant asks, “Will you be taking this?” I am not as young as the clothes would like me to be.

So, how old am I? None of your beeswax!

Timi @ Livelytwist

 

Old at 18; Young at 90

I stare into the eyes of my beloved who is in his mid-thirties and wonder if he is in love with me or with the idea of my youth. I have the look of innocence or so I’ve been told. At the restaurant, a waiter asks for my ID to ensure she isn’t serving a minor drinks. I watch the confusion on her face; it surprises me every time. Gisting about celebrity gossip with my friends in their twenties tires me. Listening to the wisdom of my elders intrigues me.  I am an old soul in a young body.

Do we discover life and determine our futures when we are young? Maybe. Is age a barometer for our maturity level? No way! Is age a number that convinces our friends and us that we belong to their crowd? Well, yes. Does beauty have an inverse relationship with age? Yes. No. Maybe.

I consider age a means to tell the time as we journey in life, a clock that divides our stories into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Age is only a temporary number invented by human beings. You are as youthful as your mind allows or as old as the elder who gives you advice. I will gladly tell you my age if you just ask it of me.

“Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created.” – Yoko Ono

Michelle @ www.facebook.com/ladieleblanc

 

Not Old Enough

Because I’d recently completed an Art Appreciation class, the church elders believed I had a sophisticated eye for colours and patterns and invited me to the building committee meeting.

“We want to redesign the church building,” the senior pastor started.

“Thank God for our youngest worker here,” quipped the deacon who sat next to the pastor. “We need your expertise,” she smiled at me.

“Since God is holy and white means pure, we shall paint the walls white,” the senior pastor said.

“I agree with you sir. God is also a man of war. We can paint the pillars red to illustrate His fearfulness,” another deacon suggested.

“Wow! The Holy Spirit is at work here. How about we paint the ceilings blue?” the man sitting across from me left his question suspended in the air.

I closed my eyes and thought of rainbows and striped candies.

“What if we outsource this project and have this discussion with a designer present?” I offered.

“Abimbola, what do you mean?” the senior pastor frowned at me.

“Your ideas are lacking in terms of design, responsiveness, color psychology, and so on. Since the logo determines how a brand is remembered, it has to be in harmony with—”

“Look here, how old do you think you are? Since you are privileged to sit in this meeting, you should act your age!” the deacon who had smiled at me hissed.

So I held my peace. The project was doomed, but I kept the knowledge to my young self.

Maggielola @ worshipandswag.com

 

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

Image credits:  www.fordesigner.com/maps/15533-0.htm

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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85 thoughts on “Demystifying Age: So How Young are You?

  1. How ironic that this was published on my “birthday”. I can’t even remember how I spent it.

    Age is nothing but a number
    You can be alive at 65 having truly died at 20
    Age is more than just a number
    Landmarks on the path from life to death
    It all depends on how you see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I spent my growing years trying to be old enough
    And even today when I think I am old enough
    Some people don’t think so
    I have decided to LIVE and just BE
    Forget about what the people think
    and plot with God what I will use the years He
    has given me to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Theresa, indeed there are certain contexts where “old enough” applies, like driving age, drinking age, age for certain political offices, etc. Otherwise, I see the beauty in your philosophy of life. To be limited by age may mean that we miss out on living a full or fuller life. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  3. I love the perspective given from different women in different stages of their lives..in different age range..
    But then again, age is really nothing but a number so I will just say that I love the perspective given from different women all bound by a pen…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see you quoted Gabriel Garcia. One of my favorite authors. I feel much the same way as he does about aging. I have a youthful spirit in an aging body. Thankfully my body still works pretty good. But I know it won’t last forever. I am grateful every day for the full range of movement that I have, the ability to walk the earth. and my lifelong habit of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your favourite author and a quote that resonates, I hit gold! 🙂

      Your gratitude resonates. When I was younger, I wondered if older people felt ‘alive’ the way I did. Now that I’m older, in some ways, I feel even more alive. Those who have journeyed further along, tell me they feel alive too. To be healthy and be able to do the things one loves, that is a big plus!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Rich mosaic, Timi. =) I caught Diahann’s piece back when she posted it and I like what the one contributor said, that no one really cares but us. (Gotta get over ourselves, in that respect).

    “Your age cannot reveal your heart, bury your enthusiasm, or stop your dream unless you let it.” Love it.

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    1. @Rich mosaic, thank you Diana. I am learning from you!

      Diahann’s piece confirms what I increasingly see- more women in their forties taking charge of their lives. Perhaps it’s a result of the realization of what you shared: no one really cares but us. 🙂
      So, how young are you? 😉

      Like

  6. I think of age as I think of sex, ethnicity, religion, etc. Timi. I refuse to let society define who I am. For example, I backpacked 300 miles from Lake Tahoe to Mt. Whitney down the spine of the Sierra Nevada mountains to celebrate my 60th birthday. At 71, I am about to publish my first book. Beyond the limiting factors of health, we are as young, or old, as we choose to be. –Curt

    Like

    1. Curt, you make 71 look like the new 40! I’m meeting more older people who thankfully are in good health and lead an active lifestyle, and they are a delight to be with. In Nigerian Pidgin, we would say, “Nothin do you and nothin wey fit do you!” 🙂

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      1. Love the pidgin, Timi. Peggy and I are off to Burning Man in the Nevada desert today, which means my blogs will continue to be repeats of what I have already written. Anyway, you will meet Bone, who could very well be a character out of an African Tale. After Burning Man, I will return to blogging. As they say in Liberian Pidgin, “Wait small. I go come.” 🙂 –Curt

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  7. Great collections of different people’s views Timi. Age really is such a funny thing. When we’re children, we want to be teenagers. When we’re older, we want to be younger, and the fight for eternal youth begins.
    I’m just wondering, are all the people that participated in this collection from different cultural backgrounds?
    🙂

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    1. So true! I remember when I couldn’t wait to be independent and leave home! I think I’m at that point where I’m happy being my age. I noted in my reply to Jean and Uju’s comment that I would be shocked to find out that I’m not as old I’ve always thought I am. What I didn’t add was that I’d hope that my ‘real’ age would be younger. No, I’m not vain, it would just make me feel as though I had more time to do stuff, psychologically anyway. What about you?

      Yes, the writers have different cultural backgrounds, some more similar than others. We also live in different places. I guess this shapes our outlook in a way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I remember wanting to be a teenager when I was a kid. I also remember going to stores, looking at TVs and stuff that I could get for myself once I was independent. Having recently crossed the 40 mark, I have to say that I’ve never been happier and more content then I am today. No longer trying to prove myself to anyone, nor to myself. I’m with you though, on desiring to be younger, yet not for vanity sake, but because there’s just too darn much I want to do.

        I love hearing the different cultural perspectives on things. Speaking of which, I’ve even been invited to a seminary tonight to share my own personal transcultural/cross-cultural experiences. The class I’ll be speaking for is about world-view and all. My hubby will be teaching on that next week.

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “. . . I have to say that I’ve never been happier and more content then I am today. No longer trying to prove myself to anyone, nor to myself.” Wow! Reminds me of what Jean wrote, “Seriously, fifty-five means I have earned life experience that no one can take away from me.” And what Diahann wrote, “I stopped saying yes when I wanted to say no. I began listening to my instincts more and less to what other people think.”

          All the best at your meeting. It should be an interesting one. Sometimes, I also like to note how culture influences worldview and to see its subtle or overt outworking in our daily lives. If you write about your meeting, I’d like to read it. 🙂

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  8. I was typing a comment on this post yesterday, but had network issues. My experience today reminded me of this post and I decided to come back to make a comment.
    I went with a friend to ask about her final year project supervisor and the Sub Dean asked how old I was obviously because my stature betrayed my being in my final year. I told her my age and she apologised for embarrassment. I actually have learnt not to take offence at such curiosity from people.
    Richard Templer’s  Rule 2 of the Rules of Life says “You’ll get older but not necessarily wiser.” Age is the standard by which we get older. It is not always the measure of our getting wiser. I used to have issues stating my age cos I can relate with the African mentality of the relationship between age and respect. But again, I have learnt that my age is only a matter for my head necessary to determine whether or not I could vote or enter into a valid contract and never a determinant of how far I have in the pursuit of my life assignment….

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    1. Lol, people also think I’m younger than I actually am, but at my age, it’s a compliment, so no offence taken! 😀

      “. . . the African mentality of the relationship between age and respect.” Respect flows up and down in my book. I’ll listen to a five-year-old first instead of just dismissing him. Older is not necessarily wiser . . . I thought everyone knew that 🙂

      Kudos to you for not letting age stop your pursuit of your life assignment! Thanks for returning to leave a comment, I appreciate it.

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  9. Today I was presenting a business system plus participating in a meeting discussion where my boss, dropped informally to the 3 men in attendance of which 2 were line managers like her, that she was 52.

    I said nothing. I didn’t offer the fact that I was older than she. I don’t think it would have added any value to the conversation. I’m not sure about her ploy if it was to suggest she was experienced in life/work to these guys who she knew/works with anyway. That type of stuff could backfire easily, depending who the audience is.

    But yes, any of those folks could get to my blog and find out my blog post about 55.
    Shrug, there have been some serious drastic things that have happened in my family that for me to care about who knows my age, is incredibly peanut-petty.

    I worked for 3 years in my tender years of mid-20’s, in a hospital for spinal cord injured adults who suddenly became paralyzed and wheelchair bound for life.

    I’d rather be mobile…regardless of what age I am and what people know.

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    1. “I said nothing. I didn’t offer the fact that I was older than she. I don’t think it would have added any value to the conversation.”

      That’s it, isn’t it? How does knowing my age add value to the conversation? That’s one reason why when people ask about my age, I don’t answer. I mean, what is the context? Jama and Maggielola also touched on this as well, when they shared that their youth was sometimes equated with inadequate knowledge. Jama tries to look ‘older’ for interviews.

      I gather that what’s important to you is that you’re healthy and active. Diahann expressed similar sentiments when she wrote that at 41, she became the healthiest she’s ever been. Some of my older friends are placing a premium on exercising and other healthy lifestyle choices too.

      Thanks Jean for sharing your heart with us. You let us see you strong; you show us your insecurities and how you deal with them. You make 55 look like a cycle in the park! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve never been bothered about telling my age to anyone who asks, because i get a mixed reaction all the time. For those who look at my smallie face and think I’m a fresher in the university, it’s surprising when they learn I’m just shy of my 24th birthday, and taking a professional exam.
    For others who are very much older, i can see the glint of admiration just before the advices start flooding in.

    Either way, I’ve always believed age to be a marker of sort, by which i calculate my steps and achievements.
    The rest of my extended family think it’s the best time to pray to the Lord for a befitting husband though–i just respond with a coy “yes aunty” and calculate again when I’ll be done with my exams and launch into something else……no time for dulling 😀

    I’m old and young all at once. I’m a child and an adult, and have never felt bogged by living up to a standard I’m not comfortable with.
    Whether I turn 40 or 80, I’ll be happy because I’ve done exactly what i always wanted, not what the rest of the world dictates.

    I loved reading this. Thank you Timi, and every participating writer for sharing your world.

    Like

    1. Does being older give us the right to offer unsolicited advice from our ‘wealth’ of experience? You seem to take it in your stride well and you are charting your own path with the key to your happiness firmly in your grasp. Ain’t no age high enough, ain’t no age low enough, to keep you from soaring! 🙂
      Thank you Uju, and thanking you for sharing your world too.

      Like

    2. Forgot to mention that my parents each don’t know the precise day they were born in China. At that time of history there was the start of revolution and civil war in various parts of the country. Even the custom of celebrating birthdays every year for each family member was a cultural switch for them.

      Of course, a baby birth is celebrated.

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      1. Those were difficult times. I imagine that survival was paramount. After the dust settled, and they began to embrace a new culture, I wonder how it felt not knowing their exact age. You mention in your post that your father is 85, so a date of birth must have been assigned . . .

        I tried to answer the question in the photo above this post. I’d probably assign myself a younger age because of how I feel inside. What about you?

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        1. They each don’t know the exact day of their birth and to them, it’s not the most critical thing. I certainly never got that impression. They tell us a date..for convenience of celebrations.

          Sure I feel inside probably at least 5-10 years younger…depending where I am during a week. As soon as women start talking about their adult children (since I am old enough to be a grandmother), I feel …young..and less stress.

          But each of us have experiences another person will never have ever in their lives…ie. growing up with immigrant parents, being non-white, knowing 2 languages (mother tongue + adopted language), etc. So I don’t feel “less” experienced in life.

          Like

        1. Jean & Uju, it would seem not knowing how old they really were wasn’t a big deal for both your parents. I can’t imagine it. What if, I found out my parents lied for whatever reason and I’m actually older or younger than I am . . . Eventually, I would get with the programme, but what a shocker! 🙂

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          1. You know, I had a male friend who never would tell us how old he was. I think he was just a few years more and this was when I was in my twenties. He died suddenly a few years ago- no idea why, his family wouldn’t say- and I remember thinking, how lonely he must have been that most of his friends had no idea how old he was. I also wondered about what it was for him that made it so hard to admit. I also knew a woman whose birth certificate burned in a fire when she was a girl and she’d forgotten how old she was. I often wondered what that was like.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hi Diahann, how sad. I read/heard that the greatest from of loneliness is the loneliness of being misunderstood. I say this because it would appear that his life and death were shrouded in secrecy. Of course, I could be wrong.

              Age can be a take-off and landing point for us, like milestone markers as we navigate life. I wonder too . . .

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          2. I think it’s nice they don’t know exactly how old they were. I see the grey hairs sprouting atop my father’s head and my heart skips a beat.
            Will he be gone someday? How soon? And even though I’m reminded the inevitability of aging and death, the latter is something I’m yet to fully embrace.
            There, I just babbled about my vulnerability 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Now, this is easily one of my favorite pieces Timi! I love it and I enjoyed reading every piece! Demystifying Age. So many have been held in bondage by the concept of age and I hope this frees some from the slavery they have found themselves in! Love you and keep writing!

    Like

    1. Thank you Princess for reading, so glad it’s one of your favourites. I’m thankful that the ages of the writers span a wide range and that the cultural realities differ. Like you, I’m hoping that readers can find themselves in one of the stories and draw conclusions that have meaning for them.

      While on the one hand it would seem that western culture glorifies youth, as seen in the media, on the other hand, it would seem as though some other cultures imagine that wisdom resides in the elderly only. Balance would be giving respect to all ages and appreciating what each age group brings to the table.

      Hugs!

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  12. Wait o. What do you say to the forty-year old lady still waiting for a man to say, “Would you marry me?” Or the the barrow pusher of the same age, still hoping for a change – even a slightly better change?

    In certain respects, I believe age doesn’t matter. Great post.

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    1. @forty-year old lady, I’ll ask her to read The Hunter games! 🙂
      Seriously though, Diahann’s post may resonate with her. Some dreams are time-specific, but in general, we shouldn’t let age steal our dreams because as you said, in certain respects, age is irrelevant.

      Thanks Uzoma!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Uzoma, I’d say to her- “good thing you waited until the timing was right and you were finally ready to meet this man/woman. As for the barrow pusher, it’s never too late to start over, start again, keep going!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I so enjoyed reading everyone’s perspective about age- which clearly is more than just a number w/ the different feelings and thoughts it brings up in each person. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this particular collection, Timi! I really look forward to delving more deeply into the other women’s blogs as well 🙂

    Like

    1. Age isn’t neutral yeah. When we meet people, we make first assumptions based on what we can see . . . Then culture colours our perception of ourselves and others. We have certain expectations of people based on their age. Like you I enjoyed reading how others have dealt with this matrix and how they’ve defined or are defining themselves as a result. The comments are insightful as well.

      I enjoyed working with you on this. Thanks Diahann for being vulnerable and giving us a peak into your journey.

      Like

  14. Reblogged this on Linguere and commented:
    I’ve been on an unannounced blogging hiatus since the struggle to focus on writing my dissertation and completing my degree became realer sometime in May. Thankfully, that is behind me now and I am back home in The Gambia after graduating successfully.

    While trying to make sense of everything that’s happening around me and holding firm in the face of the choices I am suddenly confronted with, I’ve thought of coming back to Linguere to share my thoughts, my new journey. Procrastination got the better of me each time and I kept putting it off, convincing myself that I needed the time to recreate and re-brand before getting back into the blogosphere.

    When Timi of LivelyTwist asked me to join her and a few other bloggers to write a blog post, I thought it was my chance to get back to writing, especially since the topic was one of relevance to my current experiences.

    We talked about age from different perspectives and I must say I enjoyed reading the posts from my fellow bloggers, each one shedding a new light on the topic. While I prepare to fully return to blogging, enjoy the awesome stories on this blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations Jama! It was a pleasure reading your perspective and noting the similarities in cultural expectations. I’m biased, I hope you find that awesome job before the awesome husband 😉

      Like

  15. I really enjoyed this and Ife’s comment killed me :D. I honestly did not used to give a Kentucky fried chicken about my age, I would tell anyone that wanted to know whenever they wanted to know. This has changed a lot over the past year. I think, the older you get, the more weary of your age you become. There is this nag that makes you weigh your progress by the achievments of people in your age-group. But ultimately, how you feel about your age will always be your decision. Sometimes it’s just a number, sometimes it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I would tell anyone that wanted to know whenever they wanted to know”. Alas, I find myself wishing this were still true for me, but recent experiences lead me to believe I just might be missing that ‘comfort’, at least for a while.

      And that nag! Do I know it too well. I think it becomes difficult to be indifferent to one’s age when one sees mates and younger ones shooting past really fast on the achievements lane. Pressure is further amplified when you come from a society like ours where people have sometimes impossible expectations of what one should be/have at a certain age. E no easy at all but you’re spot on about our perceptions of our ages being our sole decision. I’ve chosen to be ‘wiser’ and if that means ‘older’, I’ll take it.

      P.S I love your poems!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish it was still true for me too but condition has bent the proverbial crayfish. I don’t think there’s any crime in not wanting to share your age though. I’ll take being wiser any day too. I’m glad you love my poems, thank you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This was really nice to read all the different POV’s from people. And I just love Diahann’s blog. Didn’t know you two were acquainted? Anyhow, I do kinda believe that if we didn’t keep such careful track with calendars and candled cakes, our bodies wouldn’t know when to start breaking down.

    I think so much of it can be psychological. Like I am very aware that my father had open heart surgery (quadruple bypass) at age 50. If I didn’t keep track of my birthdays, I wouldn’t know that now I too, have hit the big 5-0 and I wouldn’t have that “Gosh, I’m living on borrowed time” type of feeling, wincing every time my heart flutters or i get a slight chest pain. Ya know?

    Sometimes when I am asked how old I am, I am tempted to lie upwards, and just tell the interrogator that I’m 65 so they can gasp appreciatively and tell me how good I look for my age!

    Thanks for this and great work!
    Steph

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @psychological, I know what you mean. We’ve got to keep giving ourselves the pep talk- we could try to make our birthdays about, thank goodness, I survived one more year!

      @lie upwards, I could buy into that temptation, and when people say they don’t believe me, part my hair in the middle and show them the grey! I like how you call the person asking the age question, ‘the interrogator’. 😀

      Millions of bloggers and we both know Diahann, blogosphere is a small place!

      Like

  17. As a newly minted 30year old, I thought I’d add my 2cents…

    I’ve been waiting impatiently since I was 8, to turn 30, because for some reason I felt it was the age when girls became women. All the 30-somethings around me growing up seemed so sure of themselves and oh so glamorous! I couldn’t wait to be like them. Well 24hours later, I can tell you that I’m still waiting to feel the effects of whatever magic dust they seem to have to have had sprinkled all over them!

    P.S. I kind of feel special, because I have convinced myself that this post was written just for me 🙂

    Like

    1. Welcome to 30 Clara! Own this post and rock it as much as you like!
      From your comment, I gather you’re thankful to be alive, and that’s a great place to start. I’m still looking for the magic dust so I can mail it to you 😉
      @30 being the age when girls become women, I dunno . . .

      Like

  18. I feel the whole age thing stems pretty much from our own perception of ourselves. That itself translates to how we think, act, speak et al; and expectedly, how others view and relate with us.

    I’ll say live each phase as best as you can, having as much appropriate fun as there is and learning quite as much as you possibly can – without waiting for some jolting reminder of how old you have become.

    Another spurring write.

    Like

    1. “I’ll say live each phase as best as you can . . . ” So true. I’ve noticed though that sometimes younger people can’t wait until they are older, and older people want to be younger! I am happy where I am, and wouldn’t want to go back and relive any phase.

      Thanks, Bunmi!

      Like

        1. Anyway, if I could look like you do at old and grumpy, that’ll be a plus! Someone commented that they wanted me to put a recent photo on my blog. I said, “I’m ‘working’ on it.” 😉

          Like

          1. Hmmm. My picture is 3 years out of date too. They were the only pictures of me that I ever liked, so I hate to change them.

            If you leave your old pics up, and I leave mine up, we don’t have to tell anyone!

            Liked by 1 person

  19. Whoever says age is just a number doesn’t have a Nigerian relative. Age is how we size ourselves up to determine what jokes are kosher, what insults to take, and whether to pop the big question.

    I almost lost my university admission because the interviewers thought I was older than my declared age. That day, ‘my eyes cleared’. Up to that point I’d spent my life hiding my age from folks because I didn’t want them to think little of me. My aunt later told me I’ve always had an old man’s face (that still hurts) but after that I started to use my age as a shocker. I’ll introduce it into a convo where I could have parried, and it’s usually amazing watching people’s reaction. But overtime, I’ve found out people just forget your age and deal with you the way you present yourself.

    Of course age matters, especially if you consider marrying a girl older than you in Yoruba land. But as long as you don’t allow your neighbour to see your 40th birthday cards, you’ll both be fine.

    I can totally relate to Maggielola’s post. I usually drop my opinion, listen to church people critique it because of age and watch then adopt the same thing a month later. It happens all the time.

    I need to stop before I start my own blogpost. The writers delivered once again. Thank you all for sharing. Now I have to go and remind myself that I’m getting old, and nothing spectacular is happening to me, before someone in my family does.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Whoever says age is just a number doesn’t have a Nigerian relative.” 😀 😀 😀

      @age & relationships, I think I was 21, when a 31-year-old guy asked me out. As I thought about it, a friend reminded me that when he was 21, I did not yet have breasts. It put things in perspective 🙂 My views have changed ‘a little’ since then.

      “But overtime, I’ve found out people just forget your age and deal with you the way you present yourself.”

      This has been my experience too. I hang out with people of all ages and we have a ball.

      Ife, your ‘blog post’ has me in stitches. I’m still laughing. I haven’t addressed everything you touched on because I’m hoping Maggielola will respond 🙂

      Like

    2. Oh Ife! I can relate to your “blog post” and I’m sending you a warm hug to make up for your aunt calling you an oldie. 😀

      @jokes and insults: Some things will never go away though; older relatives calling me fat on social media…because they can. Or good aunties and uncles wanting to help me find good men before they’re all gone. All these hurt but I can only smile and say “ahn ahn, auntie.”

      Here in the U.S., everyone calls me Margaret, even 2-year olds. I don’t mind it at all. But my old schoolmates asked if I had forgotten “home” because I refused to address them as “Senior X” or “Senior Y” on Facebook. I thought we both belonged in the same Generation Y/Millennial cohort until I remembered that I went to high school in Nigeria.

      @University interview: I am not surprised at all. I see blatant ageism, unethical job adverts on some Nigerian job boards that the only thing I can do is laugh. Because laughter numbs the pain.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. How I feel is a more important barometer to me than the number of birthday candles on my cake or other people’s perception about my linear age.

    My fervent wish is that I make it to the “Finish Line” (how ever far off that may be) with sense of humor intact. 😎

    Like

    1. Hey Nancy, I’m slowly getting to that place too, and it feels good. Every now and then, I worry about the things I said I would achieve by —- But I remind myself that as long as I’m doing all I know to do, the race is not to the swift.

      I hope you get your wish. What would I do without those funny posts you share? 🙂

      Like

  21. Lots of food for thought.
    I once worked with a teacher from Bangladesh who told me that nobody in her village recorded when they were born, they knew children were old enough to start school when they could reach their right hand over their head and touch their left ear, that’s when they start counting their age.
    (I did check this and none of the under 5’s I asked could manage it.)

    Like

    1. Steve, I heard/read that this method was also used in parts of Nigeria. Come to think of it, I vaguely remember reading books where other signs of maturity where used to determine milestones for boys and girls in villages. The boy I mentioned in the intro, found himself in the city, where the people around him, didn’t use any of those signs. Thanks for broadening the conversation and making us think.

      @food for thought, yes, that’s why I enjoyed the different perspectives the writers shared.

      Like

  22. I enjoyed this. For a while now, I’ve been apprehensive turning 20 because I feel that being 20 is forcing me to grow up and be an adult and do ‘boring adult things’, but this blogpost has shown me that age is really just a number, and even though time has passed, I can still do whatever I want to do without letting my age determine how I should behave.
    Thanks, Timi.

    Like

    1. Lol@ boring adult things! Oh to be twenty again! Oh no, I don’t want to be in the university reading for my exams or wondering if the boy I have a crush on likes me too! I want to do boring adult stuff like go to work, make my own money, and spend it the way I like 😉

      Seriously though, I may be wrong, but I think you’re referring to getting older and becoming stuffy and old. I don’t like that either!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wish I took the bull by the horns when I was 20. Boring adult things when you’re 20?! No way! Life is only boring when it is not lived at premium value. Time is SO on your side, Miss Mcnierdy! Lol 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Age…. It is truly just a physical thing… It does not matter in my opinion… It should not be a criteria but since we live in this world where people walk around with a tape rule… We just have to bare… I enjoyed this…

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinion, I appreciate it. I agree that in some areas, age doesn’t matter but as my niece and I discussed underage (child) marriage, drinking, etc, we had to conclude that enforcing age limits wasn’t all bad . . .
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading. It was fun writing and collaborating with the other writers.

      Like

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