Tatti Ribeiro
February 20, 2014 1:00 pm

I’ve been looking through ShutterStock photos of “old ladies” for 35 minutes. I’m just in a deep, deep dark hole of pictures of “old ladies” smiling, fake laughing, giving the thumbs up, looking sad, looking really old… and I don’t know how to get out of it.

HELP.

In my youth (I’m 23, so I know I’m still sort of in my youth, but I’m talking like, teen years), I wanted to be one thing: OLD. I wanted to be an adult; I wanted to work. I was so annoying, and I was always thinking, “Ugh, high school is so hard for me because I feel so much older than these kids in my class,” and, like, “They just don’t get me. I need to be around adults who get me!” Hilarious that I decided to work in entertainment, because working in entertainment is like working with a bunch children disguised as grown ups. They walk around in suits and drive fancy cars, but they’re babies. Comedy writers are grown adults whose actual job is to think of ridiculous sketches and fart jokes. THEY GET PAID TO DO THAT.

I always felt older, and I was always told I seemed older – which I guess is a compliment but sometimes feels a) insulting b) creepy – but then I got a little older and was not ready for that jelly. Calm down. Card me! Ask me where my parents are! There are now some very clear, very distinct signs, that my youth is on its way out. I know my youth is ending because…

I haven’t been tagged in a Facebook photo in 8 months. 

DUH. There was once a time when I would go out on a Thursday night (because that’s what young people in college do – they don’t even wait until the weekend) and by the time I got home at 3am, I would be tagged in 54 photos. Someone just had their arm up, with a camera in hand, snapping away ALL NIGHT LONG. If I get tagged in a photo now, it’s only because one of my old ass friends doesn’t know that they have their Instagram and Facebook connected.

I don’t have a cover photo. 

I don’t know why this is a thing. I feel a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure for the photo to be funny but not eager; cute but not desperate. What is that image? I can’t handle that pressure, so I just don’t have one. That’s a really old person thing to do and feel.

I watch documentaries for fun. 

I used to watch documentaries in school because I had to, and to be real, I’d fall asleep most of time. Not because I was ignorant, though that is an ignorant thing to do, but because I was young and tired from all the other things I was doing, like going out, playing sports, doing homework and being with my friends. No time for a casual doc on a Sunday. Now, well now, HBO GO is the worst thing to happen to me. Every time my roommate opens my door she sees me crying in my bed at a different documentary. Literally in the last week I watched the Martin Scorsese-directed George Harrison doc (part 1 AND 2), a doc produced and narrated by James Gandolfini called Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq (I mean, you can imagine how that left me) and then this one about a woman having a baby alone called First Comes Love (that was a lot). That’s, like, 8 hours of documentary realness in a few days. That’s what I did when I had down time; that’s what I chose to do with my spare time. That was my fun activity. OLD.

I feel more but I cry less. 

MATURE ADULT THING TO DO. I used to cry a million times a day. Then I made a resolution to cry less (seriously). Then I stopped crying – but I didn’t stop feeling. I just learned how to control myself and my emotions and live like a normal human. A human who could feel sad and not be destroyed. A human who could feel anger and not experience legitimate RAGE. This is what adults do. Control, perspective, acceptance of emotion, an appropriate reaction to emotion – those are the things adults are made of, yo!

I wear earplugs and I turn down the music in cars.

This is half because I’m old and half because my best friend is a singer and made me afraid of losing my hearing. But even that as a concept – being afraid of hearing loss, and having a friend that’s my age have that has a real concern – is ALL OLD. Feeling responsible for taking care of my body and having a mentality that is aligned with prevention is insane and disgusting and old.

I buy CDs from Amoeba.

I still drive the car I got at 16. It didn’t come with a plug for an iPhone because iPhones DIDN’T EXIST YET. I had a pink razor at the time I got this car okay? My friends all had Sidekicks and I thought I was NEXT LEVEL bringing a Razor into the game. I still need to listen to music in the car because I’m not a murderer and also because if you drive too deep into the valley KDay doesn’t work. So… I go to a physical store and buy CDs like all the other old people.

Most of my friends have belly button ring scars.

Uh! No one told us this wasn’t gonna be hot in three minutes! Actually, my mom did tell me that and didn’t let me get a belly button piercing, but I wanted one so badly it’s sick. If you go somewhere and you see a young looking person and then they take their shirt off and they have a scar above their belly button, THEY ARE OLD, SO YOU BETTER DIP, YO!

My little sister won’t watch movies I recommend…

… because they look dated. Like, UH, no one wants to watch that old movie, MOM – it looks like I shot it on my camcorder and the people have weird hair and makeup and why do they talk like that? That’s how my sister feels about movies I tell her to watch, like Clueless and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion seem so old to her she physically can’t watch them.

Dakota Fanning has a serious boyfriend.

LOL. I can’t stop laughing. I don’t have a serious boyfriend; I don’t even have a not serious boyfriend, or like, a casual person that someone could possibly, maybe, one time for a second, mistake as my boyfriend. But lil Dakota Fanning, who I remember being tiny and on talk shows and feeling SO much older than, has a serious one. Why? Probably because life’s not fair. But mostly because I AM OLD.

Feeling like you’re aging in your twenties is a weird thing because it’s not romantic old yet. There are no kids to be proud of. No spouse/partner to support. No dream job to thrive in. Just this weird middle phase of, like, confusion, hard work and nostalgia. Confusion, hard work and nostalgia actually sound like really youthful things to be dealing with. OMG, am I still experiencing my youth right now?!

Featured image via ShutterStock

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