Being that I’m 25, I spend a lot of time wondering about the future. Sometimes I think about how different my life will be in another 10 years. I specifically wonder about how life will be once I really advance in age.
I encounter senior citizens on a daily basis at the grocery store I work at. One of the duties I’ve found myself doing a lot more of lately has involved escorting older ladies to their car to help put their groceries up. I often wonder will life be like that for me one day? Now don’t misinterpret what I’m saying as a bad thing. I have tremendous respect for my elders and have learned alot from them as it pertains to life.
Yesterday, a good friend of my parent’s passed away. He’d been in the hospital battling pneumonia and it ended up getting the best of him. He was the same age as my grandfather, who is 81.. I remember when I had contracted pneumonia as a teenager and was out of class for a couple of days. Thinking back to that really made me realize how much of a difference age can make. As we get older our bodies and immune systems naturally get weaker, thus making it harder to fight off simple infections. It was just a real eye opener to know that a man died from the same illness I had.
I’ve always had a little fear of getting old. Sure, I never want to get to the point where I have to rely on others to do simple tasks for me and I dread the thought of one day being confined to a nursing home. If anything, I really want to be like my grandfather.
He lives alone (my grandmother is deceased) and does pretty much whatever he pleases when he wishes. Most importantly, he’s only been really ill once in his entire life. He has aged gracefully and doesn’t even look like he’s as old as he is. It’s a real blessing because I see people 20 years younger than him that are in far worse shape.
Over the past few moths I have begun to take exceptional pride in my reputation as a young looking guy. A lot of people say that I look very young for my age. It happens to be true. There are high school pictures of me where I literally look the exact same as I do now. My physical appearance has never really changed (I can still wear clothes I have from my high school days!) and I don’t engage in a hard lifestyle of drugs and alcohol, so it’s not like my body has showed any significant changes over the years.
The majority of my coworkers are in high school. I’m a bagger which kind of makes the story even better because most baggers are young guys looking to earn a little extra cash. I love it whenever I ask a new cashier to guess my age. Most assume I’m in the 17-20 range. They are stunned when I tell them my real age. It’s the best compliment I could ask for. Hopefully by the time I’m 50 people will think I’m finally 35!
I think one of the reasons I’ve stayed so young and really want to be this way forever is that I just don’t want to be an average old man. I don’t want to work some regular job for most of my life and then retire and do nothing. I don’t want to trip in my bathroom at the age of 60, break one of my hips, and end up in a nursing home. Despite how old I get, I always want to have a perpetually young state of mind. When I’m older, I want to do exciting things and not lead a life that revolves around playing bingo or sitting in a rocking chair idly watching as life passes me by.
My interests are probably the main thing I attribute to my outlook on age. I watch a ton of Disney Channel and Teen Nick shows. Degrassi (a long running teen drama), The OC and One Tree Hill, are some of my all-time favorite shows. I’m a big wrestling fan and wrestling is a form of entertainment that historically caters to young audiences. And don’t get me started on my love of anime (Japanese cartoons). My iPod is filled with tracks from Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Hot Chelle Rae, JoJo and the Jonas Brothers, to name a few.
I help out with the children’s ministry at my church and I even wore a Sonic the Hedgehog shirt to bible study last night. I never want to get to the point where I’m a typical “shirt & tie businessman” who doesn’t know how to unwind and have fun. I think my lifestyle emphasizes the fact that while I do want to grow up and do adult things like raise a family and have a high-paying job, I never want to “grow old.”