I’m 25 and I don’t think act my age.
What does the phrase “act your age” even mean?
If you’ve had a conversation with me recently, you’ve probably heard me ask this question. Maybe I’m over analyzing aging too much, but I truly want to act my age and I don’t think I always do. Here’s why:
I’m twenty-five and still in college. I don’t have a degree yet. I don’t own a house. I don’t live on my own. I haven’t started my career yet. I’m not married. I’m not financially independent. I’m not starting a family yet. I’m not where I thought I would be by twenty-five.
Some of these expectations I’ve placed upon myself, but a lot of them have to do with our culture. There is this pressure to be “successful” by a certain age or be at a certain phase of life by a specific time. With the change in our economy I think some of these expectations are changing. People are getting married later in life, go back to school years later, only rent their whole life, etc.
So if these outward conventions don’t make an adult, what does it mean to act like an adult?
From experience, I’ve learned that being an adult has little to do with age. I know nineteen-year-olds who are more mature than some thirty-year-olds. Age doesn’t equal maturity. Some people grow up faster than others, and some never grow up. That’s why it’s usually pretty obvious when someone isn’t acting their age.
After asking my friends, elders, peers and even strangers what they think it means to “act your age” I’ve concluded it means three things: 1. maturity, 2. knowing what is appropriate, and 3. taking responsibility for yourself and your actions.
There never seems be a point where you “arrive” at adulthood. I don’t feel like a grown up sometimes because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but then I look to adultier adults who are better at adulting than me, and they don’t know what they are doing either! Everyone just figures it out as they go along. I find this encouraging in a disappointing kind of way.
Adulthood is making mistakes and learning from them. Adulthood is apologizing when you are wrong but also setting boundaries. Adulthood is loving others and treating them as more important than yourself.
I don’t always know what it means to act like an adult, but I do know what it does not mean.
It does not mean you can’t have fun and enjoy life.
My mother was the biggest goofball there ever was, but she was also one of the most godly woman I know.
You can be a deep thinker and also act like a clown.
You can be mature and yet have the sense of humor of a nine-year-old boy. Being childlike is not the same as childish.
There is nothing wrong with having a quirky personality. There are times to be serious and times to not take yourself seriously. I think acting your age is knowing the difference.
In my own way, I guess do act my age. Age is kind of subjective. It matters but not really. Don’t let anyone judge you based upon your age; let them judge you based upon your actions. I’m just trying to be the best version of myself with each passing year. That’s all any of us can do I think.
I like this topic so much I don’t want to end the conversation here. What do you think it means to “act your age”? Comment below.