Life is lived in the first 20 years and the remainder is just reflection – Graham Greene
Guess what I’m 19. All this while these quotes used to awaken a sense of “this is for someone older than me. It will be long before I even need to start thinking about this.” Now it has come to “oh shit in a year or two I’ll be the person experiencing this!”
Hence the question, am I old?
What is old? If young is a time of action, then Graham Greene is calling me old. My time of doing something has passed. Now I’ll spend the rest of my existence thinking, reflecting, pondering, contemplating… This raises another dilemma, have I acted enough to have material to ponder over for the remainder of my life? What have I done in my 19 years on this planet? A few pranks, attended few family celebrations, won a few prizes, read a few books (not nearly as many as I wanted to) and watched lots of YouTube videos (half of which I don’t remember watching). I don’t think this is enough! I mean statistics say I have a solid 50 years of life left (wow that’s a blessing).
Then there is my Granddad who at eighty five probably thinks I’ve seen nothing of the world yet. To him young is inexperience. Then how much experience should I gain to be considered old? I can’t read minds but I think for my Granddad, no amount of experience I gain will be enough to convince him that I’m old enough.
If old is just a number then which number is it? Is it fifty, sixty or twenty? Who gets to decide it? If old is having physical constrains then am I old if I fracture my hand and can’t use it for a month? Are grandparents the only people eligible to be called old? Then what happens if due to some weird connections you are a grandparent at 19?
The problem here is that I am adding value to the word “old”. My literature professor always says that to have a conversation that leads to a conclusion we must stop adding value to words. I don’t know about you but to me old has bad value attributed to it and so I don’t want to be considered old.
Funny how when I was a kid all I wanted to do was grow up. Become older. Now, I don’t want to be older. I want time to stop progressing so that I get to enjoy eternal youth.
I wrote this huge, kind of stream of consciousness, type of essay only because of a quote. Wow holidays and lots of free time makes me crazy.
P. S. I went to a function toady and happen to have this pressing doubt, how do Brahmins manage to cook such tasty food without using onions!?