Many years ago, as I was starting out in my career, one of my close friends told me “You are no longer young when it doesn’t matter how old or young the people are around you”. In other words, age becomes something that you don’t notice. This was hard for me to understand. Age seemed very important. I was judged for my age and was continually seeing the age of those around me.
A decade later, we joined a Young Married’s group at our church to meet some other couples. The people at the group were all struggling with the same real life issues: providing for their families, finding their way in life, living in their own home. Responsible adults with the same challenges that we go through. What shocked me was when I started realizing that most of these people were a decade younger than I was. Some of our friends in the group, started talking about how they typically hang out with “older” couples [like us].
I have oft reflected on my friends advice. My age or the age of others is no longer something that is very important or even something that I notice much. There is a commonality about adulthood that gives rise to camaraderie across very large differences in age. I still have a great degree of respect for the depth of experience that those older than I have, but also am interested in the views and perspectives of those younger.