I’m Not Getting Any Younger

By Anthony Nguyen

And that is totally fine! When it comes to the topic of aging and getting older it seems that some people are very reluctant towards having this discussion or even acknowledge it in a positive and/or constructive way–and that is very understandable. We are often conditioned and primed to be very attentive of the passing days and how finite our time is especially when we factor in things like success or leaving behind an honorable legacy. We carry all these expectations with us about how one should age, the things we must strive for, accomplish, believe in, and practice in order to be considered “functioning adults” or to denote that things are going well for us. I definitely did not graduate college in 4 years and even took a semester off to “figure out what I wanted to do with my life” and that left me feeling…well, all the feels.

I was going through a major career/degree transition and the process of finding myself was stressful. I kept thinking that I was “running out of time” to attain all of these landmarks like I was supposed to and that each year meant that I would have nothing to show. I eventually took some time to invest in myself (it involved talking with a therapist that challenged the way I saw and lived my life) and eventually was able to put it all-together. I figured out a way for myself to look at aging as nothing more than just an objective number and found it to be helpful towards settling some of my own anxieties about where I was in life and the pressures I was clutching onto without realizing that it was actually crushing me. Having revolved around a glowing hot orb of gas on a relatively wet and large rock for roughly 30 years now, I can confidently say that aging does not bother me in the slightest bit aside from maybe a few aches, pains, and the fact that I am no longer impervious to the effects of a “late night out”.

Life can get a little complicated when we put more pressure on ourselves to be perfect or feel that we need to catch up with others. Living in the here and now can be a powerful tool and it allows us to tap into our needs with greater clarity. Mindfulness can help us to ask ourselves the important questions like “Is this what I really want?”, “What do I need in this moment and time?”, and “What is actually best for me?” so that we can release some of the weight that bears down upon us when navigating the complexities of adulthood and aging. A professional counselor can help guide you through your ambivalence and refine as to what is important for you here and now.