Youth is a strange topic for me.
I am currently considered to be young, youthful, a “youth.” However, I’m also not young enough anymore.
The other day, I was out with a friend and I realized that the store “Forever 21” no longer applies to me.
For years, as a college student who was much younger than her peers, I struggled with being too young. I waited years in agony, wishing I was eighteen. Then, once I’d turned eighteen, the wait to turn twenty-one was agonizing.
My husband is almost four years older than me, but we match each other intellectually. When he got a job at a 21+ restaurant, I couldn’t go and support him by eating there.
Sometimes friends would forget my age, and they would invite me out places that I wasn’t able to get into. I would appreciate the invites, but it was always awkward having to remind them I’m so young.
Recently, I was out at that same restaurant when a friend came in with a group. As their group was leaving, we caught up while walking back to my car. He remarked that he frequently forgot how young I was. He’s about seven years older than me.
To counter that, I often forget how “old” he is.
In other areas of my life, I am often the youngest person around. Square dancing has very few members in our area who are under the age of forty. Clogging has more younger members, but we’re still a minority.
In my sorority’s local alumnae chapter, I am one of a few young women who participate.
My hobbies and interests draw me to older folk. Even my profession is full of people who are typically more than ten years my senior.
While working at my university recently, I realized that most of the people there are now younger than me. For years, they were all older than me, and I saw them as way more smart and capable.
Now (for the most part), I see them as younger than me and find myself trying to take on a mentor role for them.
All of that considered, I can’t seem to find my “home.” People my age don’t often have the same interests that I do, but people who are older but who have the same interests seem to not want to include me because I’m so young and inexperienced compared to them.
I have a few close friends (who are close to my age) who I see typically once a week on non-busy weeks. Other than that, I don’t have a “squad.”
I suppose I will be stuck in this stage until my peers catch up to me in interests. I will forever be the awkward, weird one with strange hobbies, but I suppose I will be the master of those by the time the rest catch up 😉