Younger Than Me

It seems wrong that there are people younger than me. I’m sorry but it’s true.

It wasn’t so long ago that the future was me. That I was the promising youngster, the early achiever, the next big thing, the future.

People who know me are probably laughing and rolling their eyes right now. Classic Lonnie, back on his bullshit. You’re only 25, they’re saying, you’re still young, you still have your life ahead of you. You’re not even married, you haven’t got a kid! Why, you’ve still got dark hair and boyish good looks, incomparable wit, a wicked yet good-natured sense of humour, a certain sense of grace and most of all, humility.

To that I say… yes. Correct on all counts. But also, have you noticed how every year there are more young people? How is that fair? Wasn’t that just me finishing school and starting uni? Weren’t we the ones with our whole lives ahead of us, head full of dreams, ready to change the world?

No longer am I asked excitedly what I might do with my life. Now it’s just a slightly disappointed sigh when I tell them what I’m up to.

I realise this is stupid. I’m still young enough, and even if I wasn’t, there’s nothing stopping me having an impact on the world in some way. But my life still somehow feels like a missed opportunity. Like it should be better. Like it’s still waiting to start.

I’m probably feeling the feelings too early once again. There’s a reason why I feel like this, surely. Freaking out over young people rising up might inoculate myself in case things get worse. It might serve to scare myself away from drifting, into taking action now. It could provide a rationale when things do go wrong.

But there’s also a fair chance that there’s no good reason at all. And this is just life. You get older, the young keep coming.

I’m not envious of other people my age who are doing better than me. I’m saddened that the world moves on, that we weren’t the last young people. Did we enjoy it while we were?

Hopefully this is my first crisis and I’ll be okay from now on. The other option is to continually rail against youth, which is not what I want to express and clearly not practical. Despite how this all sounds, I hold no ill feeling to the next generation at all. I’m excited, invigorated by the young people I know.

I just wish I were still in the prime position

I’ll take solace in the fact that I’m still the young guy at work. I’ll take the jokes, the jealousy because pretty soon I won’t be. I won’t talented for my age. I’ll just be another bloke. Not special. Just there.

I’ve always feel, simultaneously too young and too old. On the one hand, I’ll just need couple years until I’ll have life sorted out, while also comfortable in the fact there’s no need because I’m already on top of things.

But now there really are people younger than me. And they don’t care about me.

Nor should they. They have the world ahead of them.

For now.

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