Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Age of A Number

"Age ain't nothin' but a number."

Is that so?

If maturity comes with experience and experience comes with age, how are we to determine the validity of one's knowledge? In today's society, to judge the content of someone's character literally means to form an opinion based on numerical data that equates to total amount of years lived.

How old are you?

A common question that doesn't always produce an honest answer.  

Below is a paraphrased conversation that I recently had with a male coworker.

Him: Your fro makes you look a lot younger.
Me:  Really? Well, how old do you think I am?
Him: Well, because I've done my research I know you're 25, but if I had to guess I'd say about 19 or 20.
Me: Interesting... How old are you?
Him: That's not important.

Apparently men are just as sensitive when their manhood becomes equivalent to a defining number.

Nevertheless, his refusal to openly disclose his age caused me to reflect on similar reactions that I often receive after revealing exactly how long I have existed.

While in college, I was frequently mistaken as a high school student. As an adult, I'm regularly and wrongfully identified as a teenager. I can't totally say that I'm bothered by this unintentional inaccuracy, however, when analyzing each scenario, one revelation immediately surfaced and shattered the inconclusive assumptions of my curiosity: My appearance.

My style has only slightly changed since high school. Heels are still concealed in the back of my closet, I adorn myself in a pair of jeans daily, and I don't rock outrageous or unfamiliar hairstyles. Some may say that I don't "dress" or "act" my age, which leads me to believe that one's appearance produces an initial judgment of maturity and development levels, supporting the first impressions theory.

Every grown up has not officially grown up. Furthermore, maturity isn't measured by a distinct number that simply defines our period of existence. It's a constant growth stage that many of us will never conquer.

Age ain't nothin' but a number.

Time ain't nothin' but a factor.

Have you ever lied about your age? If so, why? Do you get offended when someone mistakenly assumes that you are younger (or older) than you really are? Should being mistaken for a teenager be accepted as a compliment?

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*