Your “Age” Is Defined by Your Attitude…Not a Number.

“Never ask a woman’s age.”

“Be thankful you’re young.”

“Just wait until you’re older and can’t do that anymore.”

I’ve heard all of these statements over and over and over again and I bet you have, too. Perhaps, like me, it made you bite your nails when you were younger about the whole “growing up” thing. Then I started growing up. I passed my teens, graduated college, adventured through the 20s, and have now officially hit 30! WOOT! My conclusion?

Getting older is fun.

I told that to an older woman once and she called me naive. 😛 Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not. But ignorance is bliss, right? 😉 I’ve heard so many people talk about the “golden years” or “the years in our prime” or other sayings that hint toward the fact that only one tiny section of our lives is allowed to be amazing, and that section takes place in our late teens and early twenties. (And yet, when you’re in your late teens or early twenties, people tend to scoff at your youngness and lack of knowledge or experience. 😛 )

Last month I turned 30. To some people reading this, that makes me sound old. To other people reading this, that makes me seem like a young whippersnapper. And yet, to a small few it sounds just right. (Goldilocks, anyone?) I’m still waiting for a “thirty, flirty, and thriving” high-five from Jennifer Garner.

News flash:

I DON’T MIND MY AGE.

I don’t know why, but I LOVE getting older. I love looking back at what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown in just the last year. I love listing all the things God’s done or gotten me through and reading over them at the end of each year.

Okay, so it’s not fun being less “bounce-back”y and yes there is adulting to do. BUT GUYS…LIFE IS SO GOOD. Holy cow, I love adulting! Why, when I was a teenager, did adults only ever say, “Look out. There will be bills and responsibilities and you’ll have to fend for yourself and IT’S AWFUL!”

Why didn’t they also say, “Hey, you can travel and cook amazing meals and get so deep with God you can’t breath and have your own mini library and be even more imaginative than when you were a kid and bills are really only a tiny percentage of your life and as long as you pay them and are semi-responsible YOU WILL BE FINE.” (Maybe they didn’t say that because it’s a really long run-on sentence to say without taking a breath.)

I’m not afraid of getting older, but it sure is hard staying positive when so many outside voices are trying to make it a negative thing. Perhaps, for today, I can be the positive voice. 🙂

MY ONLY FEAR:

The only fear I have about aging is that my young readers will start thinking I’m unrelatable, because now I’m oldie moldy (but totally NOT.) I’m still as dorky as always (and don’t expect that to change.) Yes, it’s weird no longer being up-and-up on all the new technology (even though I try) or internet slang–that makes me feel old–but there’s a solution: I just ask. And learn. And my teen friends laugh with me and teach me that OTP means “one-true-paring” and “shipping” a set of characters means you love their relationship.

THE POINT IS:

Every age group has something to add to this world. Every year has something to teach us. And every age has something new and beautiful to experience. For some reason, we pick and choose which age group we will listen to or grow from.

Here I am on that middle ground of “not-quite-young” and “not-quite-old” and I want to say something:

To the kids: Don’t try to grow up too fast, but don’t be afraid of growing up. It’s actually awesome.

To the teens: You have something amazing to offer this world and I’m sorry we often don’t listen to you. 🙁 Don’t despair. Your voice matters and your age doesn’t. 💙 You can change the world now. You don’t have to wait until you’re older. (Tweet this)

To the twenties: People say these years are your “prime” and, in truth, a lot of awesome stuff and growth will happen during this time. Soak it in, but it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning. The awesomeness only stops if you let it. (Tweet this)

To my fellow 30s: Hey there. We’re not old. We’re not young. We’re just right. 😉 Don’t think of the years as “slipping by.” Time only slips by if you’re not paying attention. So pay attention. Live fully. (Tweet this) Think of yourself as stepping into another newer more exciting adventure with each year.

To the 40s and up: Sorry for lumping you all together, but seeing as how I haven’t lived all of your decades yet, I’m addressing you as a whole. You are older and wiser than me. Please keep sharing your wisdom and encouragement as those younger than you are still learning how to listen to it. We need you. And keep adventuring. Life’s not over until eternity begins. (Tweet this)

HOW I’M GOING TO ROCK 30

So…how am I going to make the most of being thirty? Oh, you’ll see. But I can’t help thinking that this is roughly the age when Jesus started his ministry. If thats not inspiring, I don’t know what is. 🙂

  • I’m not going to let a number define me or affect my actions.
  • I’m going to keep a list of all the growing and incredible and difficult things that happen this year.
  • I’m going to live life as though it’s my last year alive. 😉

Our age may affect how others view us, but that shouldn’t affect how we live. (Tweet this) Sure, physique and health changes. I don’t expect to be able to do last as long in a game of Ultimate Frisbee as I did 10 years ago. But it’s a mindset. God created us to age. And that means there’s a purpose behind it–there is something to learn from every year we are given. From each minute.

Let’s do this thing.


How do you feel about getting older? Or about being young? 
What about your current age frustrates your or fills you up?

 

 

 



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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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35 Comments

  1. How have I never hear the term “oldie moldy”?!? I’m so going to use that in a sentence soon. Enjoy your thirties, Nadine! They fly by!

  2. This post is wonderful, Nadine! I’m still a teen but I’ve always thought similarly about aging — why not embrace the beautiful ages we’re given every year? (And those “63 year old grandma looks 25!” Ads freak me out — if I’m 63, I want to look 63!)
    Thank you for such an inspiring post, and happy belated birthday! Yay for 30! 🙂

  3. I totally agree!! I’m so excited about aging. I’m looking forward eagerly to when I start going gray. 😀 I’ve always enjoyed every age I was at, and where I am now (25) is no different. Right now I feel like I’m finally finding my feet as an adult, and that’s exciting to me! If there’s anything I don’t like about my age, it’s knowing that in 5-10 years I’ll be so much wiser and wishing I had all that wisdom NOW. 😛

    • Still you have more wisdom now than younger people, and you can share it. I think there are a lot of younger people who really like it when older women are willing to share their wisdom and life experiences with them, especially faith stories. I know I do!

    • I appreciate your attitude on aging, Bethany! For some reason, I knew you’d be on the same page. You are always radiating such joy and contentment with the way God created us to be. <3

      Can't wait to see all the ways He uses you in every single year He gives you! 😀

  4. This was so super encouraging! I’m only a teen, but I’ve started to realize recently how I’m growing up and thinking about how temporary life is and imagining what it will be like to be old and stuff and basically freaking myself out 😉 So this post was so encouraging to me! It’s amazing to hear from someone who’s living it right now that growing up can be awesome and amazing. There is a part of me that’s excited for adulthood, and I need to focus more on that and less on the fears.

    I’ve been following your blog for a little while, but I think this is my first comment. I absolutely love your posts!

    • Oh, I’m so glad this was encouraging! It’s easy to get a little freaked out at the idea of aging or the shortness of life. But it also takes time to learn how to rein in those fears. I’m glad to hear that you’re working on that. 🙂 There hasn’t been a single moment of my adult life when I wished I was younger or back in a past age.

      Thanks for commenting, Grace! I love connecting with my blog readers. 🙂

  5. Yes! I have never minded getting older. I am 33, and I don’t care who knows it! 😉

  6. I’ve enjoyed aging for the most part. What’s funny is how the older I get, the younger age feels in general. It’s weird being the same age as my parents were and when I was a kid I thought they were so old and mature at the time, but now I’m in their shoes and thinking they were so young!

    Slang is the one thing that seems to be passing me by though tv and fandom communities help. OTP/Shipping is internet speak I learned from my involvement in Asian drama fandoms. 😉

    Just a few more years for me until I hit the 4-0. We’ll see if birthday’s start freaking me out then. 😉

    • Agreed! It’s crazy to think that my MOM already had 3 kids when she was my age. Ha!

      Yes, TV and fandom communities rescue me from drowning in the slang confusion as well. 🙂 May birthdays never freak you out! 😉

  7. About my age (22), I like that I can finally do things without my parents playing it first or trying to work around their schedule. I like that people are starting to trust that I am old enough to know what I am talking about. But I fortunately (in some ways) I have always been very mature for my age, which means that I often get along better with people much older than me, yet these same people have a hard time thinking of me as a friend because of my lack in life experience. I’m also at an age where people often question my being single like it must be the worst part about my life.

    • There’s nothing wrong with being single. 🙂 That is one reason I never ask that question because I have several friends (my age, older, younger) who are single and doing MIGHTY things for the Lord while they wait on him or are simply content in Him. It’s a beautiful testimony.

  8. What a great topic to launch 2017! I have had a lot of conversations already this year with people in different seasons of life, and I had struggled to convey how exciting it is to be where God has us! Each season brings their own struggles and hardships, but they can overflow with contentment and joy as we walk in the steps God has prepared for us. Growing up is awesome! There is a depth with the Lord I never thought possible, and it almost makes me giddy knowing that the best is still to come! Let us rejoice in our seasons, in the hard times that bring strong roots in Christ and joy in trusting Him! In the words of the prophet Hosea, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord ; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3 Thanks for your timely and sincere post, Nadine! Blessings, my friend!

  9. YES! People used to tell me all the time that when I was young, I’d want to get older, but when I got older, I’d want to be younger, and I’ve never felt that way. This is such an encouragement. Just live. Enjoy the moment.

  10. Anna Bourassa

    True. True. And TRUE! Oh, goodness, I’ve heard people say the same thing. Especially the, “Look out. There will be bills and responsibilities and you’ll have to fend for yourself and IT’S AWFUL!”
    😛 These days, I’ve been complaining about feeling old, but this article reminds me of the awesomeness of each passing year. 2016 (which social media seemed to think was horrid) was a great year for me and God. He grew me a lot, taught me more about Him and what He’s done for me.
    Thank you for this blog! I needed this! 🙂

  11. I’m not going to let a number define me or affect my actions. Ah Yes! I don’t think anyone who knows you could call you oldie moldy, because you are so relatable, we are all people right, except for those of us who are Time Lords and Wizards… Anyway, I think one of the hardest things with been 19 is that a lot of adults treat you as a kid and not someone they can have a real conversation with, and a lot of younger people look at a 19yo and go wow they are so old, so adult. And poor me is like what? I can’t be neither? But not all adults are like that, there are some really cool adults, and younger kids who don’t care about my age and we can just be people together.

    • Yes, I remember the frustration of that age. Being an adult, but not treated or listened to as one. I love that you still have people around you who don’t do that and who allow you to grow into adulthood and respect that. 🙂

      And thanks for not considering me oldie moldie. 😉

  12. I’ll be honest and say that I am terrified of growing up! Adulting seems like so much responsibility and making hard decisions that I don’t know if I’m ready for it yet! Unfortunately, responsibility doesn’t seem to get the memo that I’m not ready and throws itself on me anyways. When this happens, though, I find myself leaning more and more on God and realizing that it isn’t on my strength that I do things, but on God’s strength, so that’s definitely a good lesson to learn! So I think I’m realizing maybe adulting isn’t so bad and it’ll teach me good things!

    • Oh, don’t be terrified! It can sound scary when you look at it as a whole, lumping all the struggles or potential hills that you’ll be climbing into one giant view of adulting. But all of it comes one step at a time. And there are others out there who will help you take those steps and teach you.

      Think of it like this: being a teenager probably seems really daunting to a 5-year-old just starting school. But they grow into that, step-by-step.

      I’m glad you’re leaning on God and His strength. He will help you with each and every year you dominate. 🙂

  13. Aah, I do so love this post!! Especially since I’ve never, ever, ever EVER been my age. Always been older. And the time I said to someone that age was just a number and it depends more on who you are mentally, I was told “No,” with some sort of comment on my age and level of intellect or something that basically translated, “naive.” But seeing as I’m fifteen and basically in my second semester of college, I feel at least a little justified in saying that. :p

    Personally, I don’t feel *too* anxious about getting older or being young… My one frustration is sometimes wanting to do things and not getting to because I would have to get a ride, and getting a ride means asking, and asking means explaining why, and the stuff I want to go out and do is stuff I’m nervous about, so that would mean talking *about* the thing I’m nervous about, aaand yeah, basically I’m a big fat chicken. :p That’s my one complaint about this age. And honestly, I’ll feel lucky if I’m ever half as awesome as you, Nadine, at any age, so that’s that. :p

  14. This post was so awesome, Nadine! And OH GRACIOUS, never worry about us not being able to relate to you because you’re older than us – you’re always super easy to connect with 😉 .
    Being young (I’m sixteen) can be frustrating because there’s so many things you cannot do – but also because off all the things you’re expected to want to do. But I also love it because now is the time when I can start expanding my horizons and seeing what the future has in store for me :D.
    Thanks for this wonderful post, Nadine! *hugs*

    • Awww, thank you! *hugs and hearts and happiness* I love love LOVE connecting with you!

      You hit the nail on the head. I don’t envy the pressure that today’s teenagers have to wade through compared to what I underwent. I’m praying for you to continue to stand up to and tackle that pressure with God as your strength!

      And I love your view of the future. It is so beautiful and bright and filled with good things. <3 Ah! You'll love it! Keep that perspective and you will see the good in every tomorrow.

  15. its.eliza.noel

    It was so awesome to read this post! Far too many people are negative about ‘adulting’ these days, I think 🙂

  16. Just turned 30 last July, so I love this!

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