Monday, 17 August 2009

How old do you think you are?

I don't always have the same age in my head as the one I fill in on forms. When I turned sixteen, I still thought of myself as being fifteen. In fact, when I turned seventeen, I was only just beginning to think of myself as sixteen. On the other hand, I saw myself as fourteen for most of the time I was thirteen. I presently think of myself as almost nineteen.

I do know exactly how old I am, but when I fit myself into the age scale, I put myself at eighteen-and-three-quarters. If somebody is seventeen I think they're younger than me - which admittedly, they probably are. If somebody's nineteen, though, I think they're only a touch older than me, when they must be older by more than a year.

I think this is linked to the real insignificance of birthdays: that being seven years, three hundred and sixty four days old is not that different from being eight years old exactly. Still, seven-year-old and eight-year-old are useful descriptions, so we use them anyway. Sometimes we fit into different categories mentally, emotionally and physically.

Considering myself to be an age I'm not is a sort of automatic coping mechanism. All seventeen-year-olds do that? Well, that's because they're younger than me. Eighteen-year-olds act like that? Well, I'm only seventeen. As long as I keep on growing, I don't think it matters what age I'm at, but it's interesting to look at the numbers. I just have to remember to get the right age on the forms, or thing could get very complicated!


  1. You have a good point--sometimes it's more that life events and milestones have matured (or aged) us than the passage of time.

  2. Yes, maybe time is just an average measure of milestones and events. I think the people we spend time with will affect us too.