Tag Archives: Aging

Requiem for young adulthood

As I approach age 37, it feels like an era in life is closing.

Both “young” and “old” are relative, at least for a big middle portion of life; I got used to being solidly in the overlap some time ago. The college seniors I interview at AIGA’s portfolio review, in recent years, have mostly been born since I started high school.

In Seth’s magnificent George Sprott: 1894-1975, much of the story consists of other figures from the titles character’s life summoning up memories of him. One revisits his adolescence, when an elderly Sprott occasionally dispensed observations about life. One in particular has stuck with me:

…one day, I looked around and there were all these “new” young people everywhere, and I wasn’t one of them. Once that happens, it all speeds up… One day you’re 30 years old, and the next, you look up and there’s an old man in the mirror.

I’ve sensed the truth of this for some time. But turning 37 feels a bit different. For several years I have been aware of the “new” young people and my exclusion from them. I suppose for a while it feels like they exist alongside rather than in place of one’s own youth. Now, however, I’m at the point where I’m not really part of any “young people” except by the broadest of relative definitions.

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