Sometime around last year, I started watching Friends for the first time.
I watched 2-3 episodes a day, sometimes more, and I would stay up late just to watch it. By the end of the 10th season, you guessed it, I became so invested in the show. I can relate to every character.
But when I searched for the casts, they looked so different. They’re old.
I should’ve known. It’s been more than 25 years since they first started shooting.
I wonder what it feels like to see your forever young self on a famous TV series..
It’s not just you
Every day we all grow a little older.
We see ourselves in the mirror, but we don’t recognize that new wrinkles popping on our face, not until they start to appear in clusters.
Everyone around you grows old, too.
Your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your friends. Even celebrities.
I’ve always been fascinated by this phenomenon of growing old. It’s not as simple as adding years to your age. It’s about becoming wiser, accumulating experiences, and taking on new roles.
In the past, I’ve thought a lot about this, and I’ve written some things related to it, like ‘There Are No Age Restrictions in Life‘, ‘Your parents are not always right‘, and ‘On Growing Up as an Introvert’.
We all age.
Embrace that you’re growing old
Same with everything else in life, I think the first step to really flourish is to accept your reality. Realize that you’re not getting younger, and yet trying not to wallow in self-pity or regret.
I’ve only been living for 24 years, but here’s what I think can help:
- Meditate on your mortality. Stoics do this to remind themselves that they have limited time on this earth. After that, you can think of the impact that you want to bring to people’s lives.
- Find new challenges in life. I watched this documentary on NatGeo People a few months ago. The title is Four Mums in a Boat, it’s about ‘four ordinary women who dared to dream of becoming world record breakers as the oldest women to ever row an ocean’. It’s never too late to have an impossible dream.
- Keep doing what gives you joy. It doesn’t have to be something new that you want to try, it can be something that you’ve been enjoying your whole life. Take a look at this 89-year-old Chinese grandma. Or my own grandpa that likes movies so much that he used to go to the movies almost every week by himself (before COVID).
- It’s never too late to make friends. Keeping friends is something that I struggle with my whole life. But when I saw my grandpa in his 70s making friends with other grandpas in my neighborhood, I became hopeful.
- Focus more on the inside. One day you’ll become wrinkly. Don’t let yourself admire your look too much. Don’t let it become your only value in life. Or else you’ll become Dorian Gray who’s too obsessed with his beautiful face.
You’ll become old anyway
Whatever age you’re in right now, there’s always an opportunity to make your age as an excuse to not do something. The other option is to use it as a reminder to do something that you like.
Never let your age define what you can and can’t do.
Aging doesn’t mean you stop growing.