How old are you chronologically? In your mind? What accounts for the discrepancy? Write back and tell me in the comments.
Here’s my deal:
A month from today I will turn 56. In my mind, though, I’m much younger. When I picture myself, in the first split-second, I am 10 or 11. Sometimes I’m 15, or 25 or 35.
I can think of a few reasons this is the case for me. For instance, at my 10th birthday party at a bowling alley, after I lodged one of many gutter balls, my uncle said to me, “Well, you’ll never be one digit again.” I burst into tears, because I was shocked to learn I’d hit a milestone—one from which there was no turning back.
What other irreversible milestones lay ahead? Well, a big one: the following summer, my parents split up, and in the process prematurely converted me into a mini-adult. That year—1975/1976—was the first time I felt a discrepancy between my chronological age and the age I felt and acted. It has led to a life-long fascination with the whole idea of age and maturity, and what they mean at different times in our lives.