I’m starting to learn how maturity is an illusion.
Before college, I remember getting along with my teachers much easier than those of my classmates, as I was not one to party or drink or experiment in any way. Growing up, if you acted older than your age, you were commended by those around. You were seen as “wiser” or “ahead of the curve”, but with such grace of compliments came pressure.
You felt the need to stick up to a standard that has been placed on you by having riveting comments and insightful conversations with those older than that of your ordinary peer. Yet, despite being such an attribution to this newfound society, I still struggled to get my point across.
At times, I would have people downplay the seriousness of my thoughts or ideas. The typical “you’re still so young to think like that” or “you’ll change your mind” made me feel unaccepted or unheard. I felt as though the solid foundation I cemented myself was to be comprised of the wrong formula all along.
Why is that when you’re of a certain age, anything you say is deemed sage but if I, at twenty two years old, had the same thought, it isn’t deemed with the same high regard? Why am I looked at with eyes of a mind that is swirling?
As I’m going through my twenties, I’m surrounded by people of different ages. I still get along with the older crowd, but I noticed how there is no correlation of age to maturity. Thoughts and opinions are just that, and those are definitive of who you are, not whether you’re mature enough for your age.
Just because you’re fifty or the CEO of a company, does not mean you have everything together or understand how to treat others respectively. The same goes for the homeless person on the street or the teenager in high school struggling to keep their head afloat. People like to assume proximity correlates with causation, and I don’t think that’s the case.
Don’t let anyone render your words and thoughts down to the basis of your age. You’d be amazed at what others can offer.
I once witnessed a woman in her forties belittle a woman in her twenties for saying that she would never understand her circumstances based on her age. Note, the twenty-something year old woman had been orphaned, sexually assaulted, and was caring for her and her sister since she was sixteen. Is judging a book by its cover still an issue?
I’m not saying you need to fit the criteria for extenuating experiences to dictate wisdom, but if your soul speaks in volumes you can’t lower, to those of all ages around you, ring your tone as loud as you can.