17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I'm Old

Turning thirty this year honestly wasn't a big deal for me. No freaking out, questioning my life or counting my wrinkles. My thirtieth birthday was highly enjoyable even (I got to spend it with two of my favorite people -- my husband and Garth Brooks in concert).

But last night, after dining with a handful of "prospective friend" couples, I am starting to feel really old. A few of them graduated from high school 3 years after I graduated from college. What!?!

It's such a strange feeling to, all of a sudden, feel old. All through grade school, high school, and college I was the young one thanks to an early academic peak prompting me to skip first grade. I am so not the young one anymore and it kind of sucks. And it's not just my oldness that's freaking me out. Around these new youngins' I am also starting to question my cool factor (I mean I did just mention that Garth Brooks is one of my favorite people).

I'm doomed. It's like awkward junior high school all over again. Wanting to fit into a certain group but always questioning whether they actually like you or not.


  • I totally get this! I'm 31 and just starting to notice that it might not be cool to use "cool" anymore and I struggle with any replacements. I'm starting to be self conscious about sounding so old to my primary kids and soon enough my 4yo will start to notice.
    posted by Blogger Alyson P. at 6/08/2008 11:09:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Maria Tortilla at 6/08/2008 11:10:00 PM  

  • I'm totally with you. 30 was hard for me, but only because I remember what I used to think of those in my ward who were 30 when I was a youth... they were *old*. I could see myself through their eyes, and it sucked. I didn't feel old, but I knew that how I felt and what they perceived were two different realities.

    Now, 40's coming fast. Ugh.
    posted by Blogger Biff at 6/09/2008 04:23:00 AM  

  • yes. this is a hard one, this thirty business. Although, as UN-cool as I am, I'm still glad I'm not a teenager (UGH!) or a stupid 20yr old. You just still don't know what life is all about and yet walk around thinking you are hot-stuff and that 30yr olds are OLD. I think that is just wrong! You can be such a brat when you are young!

    I feel more with it now than ever. I feel like I know more, I am stronger and I am living a good life. However, i am still completely aware that my days are number and especially that my kids will think i am a geek and will be embarrassed to bring me around their friends. but i guess thats the circle of life. eh?

    besides that, If your mother read this post, she would laugh (as my mom does when I talk of these things) we have YEARS ahead of us.... wait till you are 60!
    posted by Blogger kristie at 6/09/2008 04:56:00 AM  

  • I'm excited to turn 30 this next year...for some reason, 30 equates real "adulthood" for me. I've always been the oldest growing up, but now most of my friends are actually older (closer to 40 than 30), so I guess being in my 30's will make me feel more equal to them or something...

    And I don't know what Biff is talking about. I keep telling him that the 30's have made him sexier, but he still doesn't buy it (and for the record, he's not even 32, yet! "40's coming fast" --whatever!). :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 6/09/2008 07:05:00 AM  

  • I think I can identify--somewhat. I was always the young one in school, too. Now I'm 25 and still always feel like the young one, although I have other mom-friends who are younger than me (some with kids older than mine).

    If it helps at all, I also have friends and acquaintances who are 30 or 35+ and, depending on how well I know them, sometimes I feel similar to what you describe--awkward, like maybe they think I'm silly or haven't been around the block enough times to have an informed opinion about topic X-Y-Z.

    What's funny too is that I've discussed this with some of them--a lot of women in our general age group often assume others are older or at least more experienced. It's some kind of social phenomenon that I have noticed ever since college. A couple of my friends who don't have kids had thought I was older because I'm a mom. A lot of times that info doesn't come out until you figure out when people graduated from high school, left on their missions, etc.

    In the end, most often I hang out with people who (a) have similar interests or (b) have kids the same age as mine. Age doesn't come up too often anymore. I think I am glad about that!
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 6/09/2008 07:12:00 AM  

  • I was also the youngest in school. No academic peak (I'm still waiting for that...),but a very late birthday! I liked it because it took the pressure off...I always had a built-in excuse if I didn't do as well as I had hoped...although it sucked (is that another uncool word now?) when all of my friends were driving a year before me.

    I had a very old moment last week in the car when I realized my newly found and beloved radio station which plays all of my favs from college is self-described as an "oldies" station. I then realized that I prefer my college music to anything recent and that I am now no better than my parents who did the same thing while we were growing up.

    p.s. I've been trying to substitute "fierce" for "cool" but it just isn't working...
    posted by Blogger Jen at 6/09/2008 07:44:00 AM  

  • "I'm trying to substitute fierce for cool and it just isn't working..."

    That cracked me up, thanks Jen.

    Yeah I'm taking "cool mom" notes from Gilmore Girls and I just can't be that mom...her daughter is 16 and she's 32--I didn't have my first until 30 so there's no way I can pull the young-cool-mom thing off.
    posted by Blogger miggy at 6/09/2008 07:50:00 AM  

  • Argh!! I didn't even realize that it's not cool to use "cool" anymore! I know I can't pull off fierce, but at least I know the reference. That's better than nothing, right?

    Biff- I know what you mean. Dh and I talked about how we don't feel that old, but when we were 25, we looked at 30+ year olds with three kids and totally thought they were old and would have never become friends with them.

    Eliza - I totally believe kids and interests can bring people together, but I think that is another problem I am facing. We are gravitating to couple who have one or no kids while we have three. It's just plain easier to go out with these couples because there is less to coordinate with babysitters, etc. But it is obvious that we are in a totally different place in our lives.

    I try really hard not to be that annoying person who always talks about their kids, but it can be hard (especially now with a newborn making motherhood more consuming than ever).

    I am counting on common interests to keep it all together.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/09/2008 08:27:00 AM  

  • A couple months ago I went to a birthday party for a girl in my ward. I don't even think that much about the ages of the other mommies in the ward b/c we all "seem" about the same age. But when I asked her how old she was turning she said "twenty-two"..... What????? "I am OLD" I said to myself. She's a great girl and we have a lot in common, but I totally get where you're coming from.... I definitely felt a little old thinking that she was 8 when I graduated high school.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 6/09/2008 09:41:00 AM  

  • Geesh. You're so not old, and you don't act old. I know 60 year olds who I don't even consider old, because they are just so energetic and interesting. Age really doesn't matter. It's just a number.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 6/09/2008 11:32:00 AM  

  • I got used to being The Young One because I graduated from high school at 16.

    That's far back in history now, of course. When you want to feel young again, just hang out with me.
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 6/09/2008 11:49:00 AM  

  • P.S. I usually act like a child, but I'm not sure that is the same as "staying young."
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 6/09/2008 11:51:00 AM  

  • Age is a weird thing. When you look at the numbers and compare them it is cool, groovy, sweet or whatever then you feel your age. But when you look at the people and find a bond, love, friendship and companionship the numbers don't matter.

    I learned this when I was first married and moved to a new area we formed friendships with all ages of people. I realized how much each person can gain when we would go out with a couples that had children our age and we also now have friends that were born the same year I graduated from high school. I look at the bond and not the number.
    Celebrate the difference!
    posted by Blogger delilas at 6/09/2008 12:51:00 PM  

  • We totally have had couples with no kids as friends too becuase it really is easier and for some reason I get along better with younger girls than me generally. (I think that's due to the fact that I am the oldest of 5 sisters and I love hanging with all of them!)

    As I get older though It's kind of weird for me to hang out with couples whose hubby's are still finishing school when we have been out for like 6 years... that makes me feel really old! I also hate knowing people close to our age, maybe a tad older - who act and seem SOOO OLD! That's a pet peeve of mine.

    One thing that doesn't make me feel old is that alot(actually most) of our friends our age have more kids than us. We've kinda taken our time (in mormon time;))to have ours.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 6/09/2008 01:45:00 PM  

  • oh yes...what a shift of late....some new peops in my community I just don't GET...and I am like why? why? and then realize...oh yeah..they're like 22.....and childless, and it just makes a difference unfortunately...plus my DH and I have a new influx of grey hairs which doesn't help....it's moments like these when I am like...and I STARTED having kids at 22....how OLD would I feel if I had been like a regular person and waited until the upcoming decade to start? I guess it's just perspective and life experiences...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/09/2008 01:49:00 PM  

  • Thanks for all your comments.

    Kathi D - I would love to hang out with you and your chickens anytime. ANd it has nothing to do with wanting to feel younger. You are just so darn cool.

    And it is interesting to look at my age in different contexts. With church friends I feel "old" but with people from DH's work and in our neighborhood we're the young ones because most people there started having kids so much later (even though we started "late" in Mormon culture). It's kind of funny.

    I think the real shock is that I have always felt young (because I always have been), but now I don't because I am not. Weird.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/09/2008 09:24:00 PM  

  • Oh blush.

    You know what is really funny? My friends who are around my same age look at each other and can't believe we are anything other than young. My mom used to tell me that inside, she always felt exactly the same as she did at 19, and I feel that way too. (Maybe immaturity runs in my family.)
    posted by Blogger Kathi D at 6/09/2008 10:00:00 PM  

  • Getting older is wonderful. Think of everything you've learned. Think of how you've grown. You've made choices and you are wiser.
    Please don't perpetuate the worshipping of youth. Everytime you make a comment about how hard it is to be old, or not cool to be old, you are passing along this ridiculous idea that we all want to be 20 year olds.
    My 30's have been wonderful. I recently realized I am "middle aged." I was shocked for a minute, but decided I have to practice what I preach and embrace it. I announce my age when possible, with pride. I let my children discuss my age.
    I'm not weird of anything about it. Don't get me wrong.
    But when someone says, "Oh, I thought you we younger" I just smile and say, "Yeah, I'm 37." And I think to myself "What do you think "old" people are like? We are real people and we are still ourselves, even when we are old."
    Old people don't need to be "young at heart." Old people don't have to be a different age to be cool or interesting. We already are.
    I admit I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder why I don't look quite right. Age does change your appearance. So I stare at my picture, or in the mirror, and adjust my mind's eye. This is what I look like now. I can get used to that. And then a few months later its time to adjust again.
    I've also adjusted to incurable health issues. And I will continually have to adjust to my body not functioning as well as before.
    Anyway, I think women should be happy about their advanced ages. It means something. And we need to act like it does. If we go around apologizing for our age then younger people pick up on it and think that there is shame in being older.
    Its time to start making younger people wish they were like us.

    jks (age 37 and determined to look forward to being 40)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/12/2008 10:37:00 PM  

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