Wanting to Be Older

Longing to grow older is a bit like wishing for death, praying for your life to advance more quickly.

When I was a small child I wanted to grow up. I felt trapped. My legs were too short and I couldn’t reach the latch to unlock our front door.

In elementary school, I wanted to be older. I was afraid. The other kids were mean to me and I wanted to get away from them.

Junior high was difficult and I felt misunderstood. Teachers spoke down to me and school was hard.ย I wanted it to be over wishing adulthood would hurry up.

At fifteen I was feeling suffocated. All I wanted was to be sixteen so I could get my drivers license and be free.

When I turned sixteen I got my license. For a while I was content. Eventually, I started to want more freedom and the familiar longing started up again.

After turning eighteen I wanted to be twenty-one. My ego was huge and I wanted to be a “real adult”.

At twenty-one nobodyย took me seriously. I was too young to know anything and still wanted to be older.

By the time I turned twenty-five things were getting better .I was beginning to realize how much of my life had been wasted wishing I was somewhere else. Finally, I wanted to learn how to appreciate the present moment.

Now that I’m two months shy of thirty my life is better than it’s ever been. I don’t long to be older have a greater appreciation for where I am now.

Life is more enjoyable when you aren’t preoccupied with being somewhere else (or in my case somewhen). Living in the future causes anxiety and stops you from seeing the joys right in front of you.

I know this now but it took thirty years to figure this out.


23 thoughts on “Wanting to Be Older

  1. I can totally relate to the feeling of wanting to be older…and same as you, it was very strong in my teens and early twenties, and started getting better around the age of 25. Comforting to see that other people can relate, and beautiful advice.

  2. Great insight. I’m almost 39 but I feel a solid 25. Haha. I’m starting to see that my 20s were about putting things together and weeding out the unnecessary junk. Not that you’re ever quite through with that, though. I don’t have kids, but in my 30s life has been about focusing on what’s important and establishing a direction. I’m still working on what I want to be when I grow up but I definitely have a good idea of the things that I want to focus my free time on – like my pets, my husband, the outdoors, writing, photography… I could go on.

    Take your time and enjoy what you have. You will never have right now again. Reach out to that person you’ve been meaning to get together with. That’s one thing I wish I’d have done at your age. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is all so true. Especially the bit about living in the future causing anxiety – I am determined to shake off this year (as much as I can) the ‘What if…’ thinking.

  4. The masters teach about being in the now. Not an easy thing to do in our society. But if we can focus on the present moment and let all other thoughts fall away, there is such freedom in that. And we can start living, really living, our life again.Seeing the beauty around us and giving our full attention to those with whom we are interacting. For each moment is unique never to be had again. Constant change, some undetectable, but present with each breath we take.
    That being said, I found myself just yesterday (@ age 63) wishing I could be a child again and have my parents make all the decisions I am faced with at the moment. Who ever started the myth that grown-ups have all the answers?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. My mother has a writing on her wall that says: “All unhappiness comes from living in some other moment than now” It’s been hanging for decades so going through my forties, fifties and now almost 63I’ve been able to apply that to myself through a lot of messes while watching her go from her 60’s to mid eighties. It is so right. It wasnt better before, and it won’t be better later. Is great to be alive right now

  6. Oh yeah! Thank you for writing this post! Awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š I, too, wanted to be older. When I was a kid, it was all about being able to live my life on my own terms. It was about not being hounded by my parents and teachers anymore. It was about finding out what I wanted to be and then making it happen.

    As a younger adult, I wanted to be older, too. I figured a few things out each year, and figured that I couldn’t go wrong by accumulating wisdom.

    As a middle-aged adult, I’m watching my loved ones get older and break down, I’ve watched a few of them, die, and it’s got me thinking more about my own mortality. Even though it’s statistically a way off yet, time has a way of sneaking up on a person ๐Ÿ˜Š But I think I’ve decided not to dwell on it for now. What’s going to happen is going to happen, and there’s not much one can do to stop it, even if stopping it was even possible or a good idea, which I’m not convinced that it is. I think what I dread most is the breaking down of the body and/or the mind, which is not likely to be a pleasant process. But I can’t dwell too much on that, either, because the laws of nature have their way of winning. Everyone else accepts it as a part of life, and thus, I’ll do my best to do that, too ๐Ÿ˜Š

    For now, I’ll just look forward to getting older and wiser, with potentially less expected of me, and perhaps more tolerated from me. Now THAT sounds pretty cool โค๏ธ

  7. Yes! I find that I have the horrible combination of living for tomorrow and being cripplingly nostalgic. In one single moment I will well-up with tears considering both how I worked too much when my daughter was a baby AND my game plan for surviving the day she leaves for college.

  8. I see so many parallels between you and my daughter, and I’m learning so much. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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