09 Apr Age is Just a Number
Today, I had a meeting with a man about the future of my professional career. I greatly appreciated the time he took to speak with me, and I was interested to hear his advice.
The conversation began with the history of my educational background in media, both old and new, as well as business management. I then briefly summarized my past work experience and the roles I held in both New York City and Toronto. I also discussed the future plans I had for the UO campaign, and I expressed how I was about to dive into the completely unrelated field of commercial real estate investment. I then explained that I was hoping for advice on where I should focus my time next and I wondered if he could introduce me to the people I needed to know.
And then it happend.
I knew it was coming – it always does.
“But you’re only 23.”
It was then only a matter of minutes in conversation before the man became aware of the old, wise soul within me. Those few minutes later, he began to list off all the professionals that he believed I could work with.
Funny – Weren’t we all taught not to judge a book by its cover?
I don’t know about you, but I have never felt my age. In fact, to this day, I don’t even know the number I’d assign to myself and am still trying to figure it out.
On one hand, I recently moved into a new condo alone – one that I purchased myself. The condo is located in the wonderful area of King West in downtown Toronto and I am surrounded by individuals a number of years older than me. It’s quiet, serene, and is a very different space than the ones I have resided in, in the past. While it is by far the most glorious thing I have ever experienced, I can’t help but feel like a 40-year old as I send in payments for my mortgage.
Not to mention that all the big decisions I find myself making now are heavily biased by how they will affect my future.
On the other hand, this past weekend I went to London, ON, to attend the formal event for the fraternity that my cousins are members and that my brother is the president of. I did my hair and makeup and threw on a dress as if I, myself, was once again an active member of my own sorority. As I partied the night away, I couldn’t help but feel 19 again.
It’s no secret that I’ve lived through hell. Between my near death experience from Crohn’s disease, which resulted in my life saving ostomy surgery, to losing my father 3 years ago, I’ve had to grow up pretty fast.
But, it’s not like I’m special.
Many of you reading this blog have gone through what I have, whether it be disease, surgery, the loss of a parent at a young age, or any other type of hardship – you know what I’m saying; these things age us.
We’ve seen more. We’ve felt more. We’ve experienced more.
Yet the calendar continues to assign a number year after year and we’re judged based on it.
I often get asked what I think I would be like if I had never experience those hardships in my life.
I wouldn’t be me.
While I must admit that I enjoy focusing on my career, discussing business, owning property, and acting much older than my age would dictate, I know I would be missing out if I simply dismissed (as my friend Steph would say,) “the wild side of 25.” That’s why, from time to time, I still throw on that revealing party dress, drink a little too much, and pretend that life isn’t so serious…
And that age is just a number assigned by the earth’s rotation around the sun.