Do you feel like you’re getting old, like really quickly? Do you miss those carefree days, where you had a lot less to worry about? Perhaps you wish you were a few years younger, maybe a few decades younger. The saudade of childhood and adolescence.
It was my birthday last week, which is always a strange feeling. I received a number of messages from people who seemed rather envious of my youth (those who were younger than me displayed the opposite feeling, obviously). It got me wondering…
What’s up with everyone and wanting to feel young?
A reminder of what youth is all about
I don’t necessarily consider myself all that young anymore, but I suppose I’m not that far off my teenage years yet. Being a young adult is fantastic, I absolutely love it. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its fair share of trials.
It’s a point in your life where the learning curve is steep. You’re entering a lot of unfamiliar territory. You’re constantly exposed to new experiences and are forced to leave your comfort zone. You’ve got to figure it all out, and quickly. You make a lot of mistakes, all the time.
The advantage of this period is that you’re often only looking after yourself (not necessarily the case for everyone). You are truly responsible for just you.
What I’ve also noticed is that age is a just an arbitrary number. It’s something we latch onto in our minds and allow to drag us down. We should embrace becoming older, it’s a natural part of life. We need the elderly just as much as we need the youth. The present moment is the same for everyone.
The wisdom accompanying old age
If you really think about it, you’re getting older by the second. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 40 or 60. Everyone gets old at the same rate (I can’t say that I’m speaking from experience, lol).
Life experience can only be obtained through the process of living – which requires as to constantly age. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily just come from ageing. It comes from constantly reflecting on the different, difficult and novel experiences. You’ve seen the troubles that life can throw at you from a much closer perspective.
Embrace the fact that you’re experiencing nature at its very best. We are all temporary beings. We’re not meant to be here forever. Utilize the remarkable history that you’ve been through to make the most of what you have. Share the lessons that you’ve learned from the countless mistakes that you’ve made. Serve those around you while you still can. Don’t stop growing.
The present moment is all we have
We are now back to the central theme of my blogs; embracing the present moment. Life always seems to be rushing past us. We have no time for anything. We feel nostalgic over the years that have passed by. We constantly yearn to feel elsewhere. We never seem to be satisfied with where we are.
Here’s a life hack: think about how you are exactly where you’re meant to be. Indulge in the present and find serenity within acceptance.
“Live for today like you’ll die tomorrow. Plan for the future like you’ll live forever.”
I’ve met some people who radiate youthfulness, despite their old age. I’ve also met people who seemed incredibly old, despite how young they were. It got me thinking about something else.
We can all be young at heart. It’s the way we choose to fuel the fire in our bellies. The energy we bring into each and every day. The enthusiasm we sustain in all of our conversations. The risks we decide to take. The choices we don’t regret taking. The vulnerable honesty that allows us to build meaningful connections.
I want you to really embrace the fact that age is not everything. You can choose to be as young or as old as you want to be. Your actions, choices, mindset and enthusiasm speak more than anything. There are obviously some real constraints and complications associated with physically getting older, but it doesn’t have to define you.
You can strive for eternal youth by having a playful heart, despite how old you are getting. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I’ll leave you with some brilliant advice by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):