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Maturity Schmurity: What Does Acting Your Age Really Mean?

Someone told me the other day that I should act my age to which I responded “What does that even mean?” Honestly, how exactly is someone pushing 30 supposed to behave? Should I be reading the New York Timers, discussing the economy while checking stock trades on my iPhone? Well I’m not, and frankly I’m okay with that.

I enjoy being an easily amused individual who doesn’t “act her age”. Not only do Ienjoy it, I embrace the level of maturity I lack in everyday life. What is so fun about being “mature” anyway? Mature people pay bills, have responsibility, hate their jobs, cuss in traffic and look forward to 5 o’clock; I do all of that because it’s part of being an adult. 

However, while I have no problem being a responsible adult, it’s not something I thoroughly enjoy most of the time. I don’t giggle while paying bills, smile while sitting in traffic, or look forward to medical checkups and morning staff meetings.

do enjoy road trips with my friends, ordering a kid’s meal if the toy is cool, grabbing a coloring book if I’m in the mood, playing in the toy aisle and finding entertainment from time to time on both Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

And while I know I could be brushed off as someone who doesn’t want to let go of their youth, I choose to see myself as someone who embraces the sillier parts of life.

I’m single with no children, much to the dismay of my mother, who in comparison had been married for almost a decade with 2 children by the time she was my age. My daily life doesn’t revolve around baby-sitters, mortgages and college funds. Instead, I’m trying to decide what concert I will attend this weekend, which out of town friends to go visit and that I’ve sent off the next student loan payment.

Do these things make me less mature? To some people, I’m a slacker who refuses to grow up. But what do they know? The days of the Cleaver’s and Brady’s are dead and gone. The unwritten rule stating we should go to college, get married, buy a house, and have kids by 30 is no longer the norm.

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Sure, plenty of people still follow that life plan and that’s fine and dandy; but many people are bucking tradition, which I think is rad. Yes, you read that correctly. I used the word “rad.” I’m bringing it back, so help me out and use it in conversation later today.

OK, that was off topic. Back to those crazy pseduo-adults.

Maybe the college graduates of today don’t get married until 35 or 40. Maybe they skip college to become an intern and work their way up the corporate ladder. Maybe they pass on the family and white picket fence for a stylish urban loft and a job that allows them to travel the world. Where is the problem in all of this?

There is no right or wrong way to live your life. I don’t recommend aspiring to become a homeless crackhead, but as long as you are happy, who am I to judge? I love my life, and despite not being where I saw myself at this age, I couldn’t be happier (well, not unless I won a million tax free dollars – nonetheless I’m content).

So maybe I’ll never read the New York Times and I probably won’t own an iPhone anytime soon. Yet somehow, I will manage. I’m still waiting on someone to tell me what “acting my age” really means; apparently I didn’t get a copy of the manual that provides details on how one’s behavior should change with each passing birthday.

There are all sorts of things I could toss out right now: “You’re only as old as you feel” or “Age is nothing but a number.” While both make my point about age and maturity, I could also just turn to the next person telling me to act my age, put my thumb to my nose, wiggle my fingers and stick out my tongue. How mature.

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