From Our ReadersWhat's My Age Again?From Our Readers

I find it strange that no matter how hard I try, certain periods of my life refuse to die. I have spent many years quietly cheering on the fact that I’ve graduated middle school and high school and have left all the awkwardness of those times behind me. It is a hollow victory though, because I know that even though I’ve grown up a lot in the last decade or so, I will never stop facing the dramas of high school.

Though the faces that surround you may change, in life there is always some kind of high school entity that you must deal with. Whether its a boss who doesn’t like you because you have the wrong “look”, an acquaintance who gossips about you or a friend who misinterprets something you said – high school dramas are waiting for you around every corner. The only question really is, how are you going to handle these crises when they occur?

It amazes me how many people, when faced with a little post-adolescent drama, revert back to their hyped up hormone-driven 15-year-old selves. I suppose it’s a natural reaction but it’s also an obnoxious one.  When you are actually in high school, going nuts over someone is completely justifiable because you’re a teenager and that’s what happens. People around you give you a hall pass for being overemotional because you’re young and don’t have control of your feelings yet. Family and friends graciously overlook the uninformed rants you make because “you’ll learn” soon enough.

Once you hit a certain age though, that pass expires. Despite the fact that it’s the same s**t but a different day – no one is going to put up with you playing the role of a 15-year-old hormone-addled girl when you are well into your 20s. I’m pleased to say that except for my continuing love of a little gossip, I have successfully transcended the need to act like I’m in high school.

Although I wish the same could be said for some of the people around me, the best part of not being 15 years old is that I no longer possess that anal-retentive need to make sure everyone else is making the right choices. As a 20-something, I can blissfully shrug my shoulders and walk away. High school situations may follow me everywhere, but now I have enough sense to stop my world from revolving around them.

For some reason, this weekend ended up feeling very high school to me. Maybe it had something to do with the alienation I felt at work or the fact that I was listening to a lot bands from the early 2000s, I don’t know. It could have been the awkward mass gatherings that transpired, or the fact that my gossiping kept getting the best of me. Whatever the reason, there were several times where I found myself calculating my actual age in my head.

The best part of being an adult is being able to look these high school situations in the face and laugh at them. Yes, I got too far into my own head this weekend and was transported back to feeling like a 15-year-old awkward mess. But I also thought of people other than myself, danced through a parking lot without worrying about what other people might say and laughed at the ridiculousness of the world around me. I don’t know about you, but to me this seems like progress.

by Amy Wahl

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  1. It doesn’t change much in your 30s. My job is filled with gossip, affairs, etc. It’s not quite as tragic and people mind their business more, but I don’t know that we ever reeeeally leave high school. It all forms naturally and situations pan out accordingly. I think the difference is definitely that you care less as you get older. So people are silly – so what? Learning to not care is probably the best part of growing up.