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Age is just a number, right?

Prima facie, yes. Age is literally a number, but it carries far more significance than legally allowing someone to drink or get married.

It is funny that eighteen is the most legally relevant age in our system when realistically, it is pointless. 🤣 Anyone who was drinking at eighteen started at least a couple of years before that. R rated movies are freely available online with no age barrier whatsoever. And driving licenses in India are available for all ages between 12 and 18. You only need to shell out a few thousand for every year that you wish to skip. 😋 P.S. I did at least one of those things at the appropriate legal age. 😋

What I want to discuss today is a more nuanced take on age. Broadly, our age directly corresponds to our -

  1. general wisdom

  2. ability to experience things in life

  3. openness to adapt

  4. emotional maturity

  5. likelihood to settle down

The first two points are pretty much straightforward to interpret. Wisdom being a function of all our cumulative experiences and learnings through life, can only increase with age, unless you've been unfortunate enough to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's OR you are ageing backwards literally. One of those scenarios is rare, and the other is outlandish at best.

But one could argue that many adults don't seem very WISE, and that observation would be astute. But the factor of note here is that wisdom is directly proportional to age for ONE person. On a relative scale, they could be stupider than a seven-year-old. 😋 You see, we have this concept of 'slope' for any trend in statistics. For some folks, the slope is so insignificant that their wisdom trends flatter than the Deccan plateau! 😂

As for the ability to experience things and events in life, that's as obvious as night and day. The body does give up with age, and our physical ability directly depends on our fitness level.

One could argue that a fit person may experience a lot irrespective of age because they may have more time.

But not everyone is Bezos. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Funnily, the third factor is also the one thing that can screw up everything else on the list. It does not matter whether you are fit or wise if you are unable to adapt with age.

Everyone loves to stay in their comfort zone, and we start fortifying that comfort zone as and when we grow older. So, if stepping out of that zone was a minor inconvenience when you were thirty, it will be akin to migrating between India-Pakistan at the age of seventy, provided you are still alive to see seventy! 😅

Wow, talk about morbid thoughts! I am only counting on the consistent desensitization by Netflix to do its job in the background. 😁✌🏼

Things take an interesting turn when you try to correlate age with emotional maturity. It is the first place when you start seeing a distinct bell curve with growing age.

Don't know what is a 'bell curve'? Google it, or better still, read this post that not only explains the concept but extends it in the weirdest way known to my brain. 😁

Kids aren't emotionally mature because they are still learning how to read emotions, process them, and react to them in the right way. With age, they develop varying degrees of emotional depth, which does peak at some point, post which, thanks to our unique skill of stubbornness, we regress in terms of emotional maturity. It's as if we know the correct response to emotional dilemmas but don't have the energy to react correctly every single time.

Age is nothing but time passing by, and with time, the mind and soul get eroded, and emotions come to the surface. And for people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, reactions aren't always logical. This reluctance to invest their mind into relations and conversations manifests itself as emotional immaturity in old age. Hence, despite all their wisdom, old folks often emote irrationally, similar to how kids do.

No wonder that kids get along so well with their grandparents. The simple emotional requirement of a kid perfectly complements the worn-out emotional capacity of an old soul. 🙂

And this brings us to the last relevant contribution of age - settling down. I honestly believe that there is no RIGHT age to settle down, as long as we find the right person! And in this world of digital facades and social media-driven personalities, it isn't easy to find the right match. You either wait a long time, or you settle! 🤷🏻‍♂️

But, what's interesting to me is the debate around the age difference between partners. That is a top-five topic in any Indian household with a boy or girl of marriageable age. And while an age difference of a couple of years is considered healthy for some god darn reason, a difference of more than five raises a big red flag, the bullfighting kind!

My parents have eight years between them, and that did raise flags back then too. But honestly, because they eloped in the 90s, they had to fight far more flags that were more concerning than the age difference. 😂 In either case, the above example does prove the point that I am about to make.

So what if one person in a relationship is ten years older than the other? If age is a number, then the difference between ages is also a relative number. Ten seems big at the age of thirty, but are the two of them going to count those years when they both turn into senior citizens who call the cops on their neighbours for partying too late or for being thirty?

😋 NO!

How do I know this? Just look at my parents. My dad is 61, and mom is 53 years old, but to me, both of them are simply ageing. I am constantly worried about their health alike and get frustrated with both of them even more alike. 😅😂

So, what's the moral of this long-winded story? Yes, age is only a number and a shitty one at that. Just because the earth takes 365 days to go around the sun, we decided to tie our self worth to a single number that defines our lifetime on this planet. But our life is definitely more than that number, yeah? And all the above points only prove that even when relevant, age is HIGHLY relative across humanity.

Then why bother? Go ahead and imagine that you are living on Uranus or Neptune (if you are exceptionally confident of living a long life), and enjoy life as it unfolds. 😎

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