When I was a toddler, I’d overhear adults cry and complain to one another about getting old and I’d think to myself, “WTF are these people talking about? Have you met my grandma?! You’re not old!” But like many of you, I’ve experienced the old-man syndrome, where I feel at least 30 years older than I really am.
How did we get to a point where a 20-something-year-old can feel like a middle-aged adult? It happens because we’re always craving the next exciting event in our lives, instead of focusing on the present one. I can remember being only 17 years old and feeling like I was deprived of my youth. HA! Seventeen and feeling old?! If I could go back in time, I’d give that kid a swift kick in the ass!
We feel old, miserable and unproductive because we get bored of our lifestyles and feel ready for something new—like a dog who’s sick of his lame kibbles. As students, it’s easy for our minds to slip and fall into puddles of mud; when that happens, we start producing addictive, negative and unrealistic crack thoughts. Consequently, we subject ourselves to our own mental beatings and destroy our own days.
For whatever reason, our generation seems to feel entitled to everything. We complain about all the things we want (cars, money, houses, exciting lifestyles, relationships, etc.) but forget about all the good things we already have. How many times have you caught yourself, your friend and/or classmate saying, “I just want to finish school and get a job?” I’ve probably both said and heard it close to five million times.
Since the day I was born (and I’m sure you can relate to this), my old man has been on my case about getting educated and finding a good job. Now that we’ve done what our parents told us—like good little boys and girls—we feel ready for our treats. It’s hard to accept that the world has changed so drastically over the past 20 years and that a degree doesn’t directly lead to employment the same way it used to.
Many of us (myself included) have or had an unrealistic dream of being young, successful and prematurely well-off. We want to put the pedal to the metal during life’s unpleasant circumstances, and then hope it magically slows down when we experience a sweet streak. Thus, we become so obsessed with the future that we lose track of the important present moments that inevitably lead to the coming events in our lives.
We need to stop giving ourselves artificial timelines in attempt to plan out every event in our lives—life is about struggle and personal development, not Instagram.
Relax, take a breather, and don’t lose your mind. Nothing good or bad lasts forever, so try and make the best of any situation, because you may never experience it again.
In my father’s wise words: “You’re still young. Get your head out of your ass and enjoy the moment while it lasts.”