Do you feel old?
I discovered a little pocket of international youth in Tokyo while biking home with The Political Scientist last night. About five minutes from our house is an international dorm for one of Tokyo’s language exchange universities, and they just happened to be having their first barbecue party of the year that night.
We stopped by for a drink and some multilingual ambience in the 60 minutes before the police biked over in formation to close us down.
It was silly and fun, talking with college sophomores. It made me remeber what I was like 8 years ago. It made me remeber my friends from circus school from 3 years ago, where I was the oldest by far (I was 23 in my first year, the median age of my class was 18).
I think that there is a difference between ‘feeling old’ and just ‘seeing youth.’ At least in my case, I am still dealing with the same questions at age 28 that I was at age 20, but I take them much more seriously. I also have about 3000 more days of mistakes and good fortune and love in which to float; I have a deeper emotional pool in which to splash.
The difference between ‘extremely happy’ and ‘extremely sad’ has increased by orders of magnitude, and the size of the world has shrunk accordingly. I have been penniless; I have been more wealthy than I deserved; and I found that my sense of personal worth or well-being did not seem to be correlated to any fluctuation therein.
28 minus 20 equals a lot more emotional and mental space in which to wander and a lot more voices from your past to guide you on your way; it seems the magnitude of your observable future is linked to that of your recall-able past.
(My new Uzbekistani friend from the party challeneged me to a handstand contest last night, and I am sorry to report that he lost. He expects a rematch as hope springs eternal.)