Youth in the rear view

Many times when older people see a younger person, they’ll say something like, “I wish I could be 18 again.” This type of commentary is sometimes delivered as if the youthful person either a) doesn’t deserve their youth or b) is deliberately affronting older people simply by existing. [Insert crotchety tone]: “Youth is wasted on the young!”[End crotchety tone.]

I have no time for such complaints. Assuming they live to be that age, nobody gets to be 18 (or 20 or 25 or 30) longer than anybody else. Older people had their turn at bat. I had my turn at bat. If you wasted your chance at being 18 (or 20 or 25 or 30), assuming no mitigating circumstances that were beyond your control, well, too bad for you! Too bad for all of us!

Older people like to talk also about how they’d “do things differently” if they could be young again. Really? Ya think? My youth is in the rear view mirror and I don’t kid myself that, if I was the same person I was in my younger years, I’d do anything differently. “Oh, if I could only do it over again!” people lament. Frankly, put me back there, as the person I was then, and I sure expect I’d do the same stupid things, whatever they were. What’s more, when people wish they could go back, they always imagine how much better it would be, how they’d not make the same mistakes, and so on. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that, given the chance, they might just as easily do MORE stupid things and make MORE mistakes.

10 thoughts on “Youth in the rear view

  1. Arlene Somerton Smith

    I hadn’t considered the idea that I might make more mistakes. Good heavens, what a thought. I usually think something along the lines of, “I wish my 25-year-old body could have had my 57-year-old brain.” That way I might not make those mistakes, and I would for sure spend less time worrying about what other people think.

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    1. Colette Post author

      I figure there must be a reason that first we get the body first and later get the brain.😐 Maybe it’s nature’s way of guaranteeing reproduction? (If I was a young woman with my current brain, I expect I’d have a very, very little patience all the way around.)

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    1. Colette Post author

      Yes, and when people look back they imagine a glorified rendition of themselves and gloss over the pains & difficulties of being young.

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