This I Believe

David - Florence, Alabama
Entered on December 12, 2006

Age Is Just a Number

I am young, but the things I have experienced, after only thirty years of life, make me feel old. Trying to maintain a youthful attitude, while crossing the thin line out of what society considers a child, can be a difficult task. I have been praised for many things in my life—and cursed for just as many—yet there is still no way for me to explain the best route for someone younger than myself to take on this journey of life. The best advice I can give is: stay thankful for your baby face.

I cannot count the number of times I have been carded for cigarettes, beer, getting into bars or wherever else. All that comes to mind when I hear the words “Let me see your I.D.” are, “Thank you God, for giving me a baby face a little while longer.” I remember when I was in high school; all the guys still hated getting carded for smokes. Some of the people I hang out with get mad when the clerk checks them, but not me. I love it. I leave that store with my chest out and my head high. The world is my oyster, baby.

Frequenting a bar or pub at my age is not special by any means. Some people would even go so far as to call it common practice. Listening to music is another common practice that people of all ages love to partake in. I remember growing up listening to the various radio stations at home. My favorites were the R & B, Rock and Classic Rock stations. Songs would play by some of my favorites like: Pearl Jam, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin. Driving down Wildwood Road one sunny afternoon, I hear the most disturbing thing I ever heard in my life. I heard the song “Patience” by Guns ‘N’ Roses. The really disturbing part was hearing it on a Classic Rock radio station.

Society has declared me and my generation to be classic. We are now being broadcast over national radio stations as the old, washed-up, classic model. The only thing wrong with that is I have always been told to be as young as I want to be. I can answer the question, “How old are you?” with, “How old do you think I am?” and not feel one bit bad about it. If anyone ever has a problem, I can just say, “I’m one hundred and fifty-seven.” I can say it with candor because lately it seems to be the brunt of many jokes. I can say it with jest for the pure satisfaction that comes with every person who does not get to know how old I really am. I believe it makes no difference how long we have been here, only what we do while we are here. Thank God for my baby face.