Monday, October 3, 2011

25 years makes you old.

The other night I was driving home and as I was driving along someone cut me off. I didn't slow down much more than I absolutely had to, to avoid hitting the other car. They then hit the brakes so I simply changed lanes. The person then honked at me and flipped me off.

At an earlier time of my life I'd have probably honked longer and flipped off with two hands, but that night I was simply indifferent about it. Whatever, bad night for them I guess, it happens. They downshifted and sped off.

At an earlier time of my life, with 270 all-wheel turbocharged horsepower at my command, I'd have downshifted and blown past them. That night I simply continued driving and thought nothing of it.

I then realized that in the last 3-5 or so years I grew up a lot. I didn't get pissed off at the angry road rage driver. I didn't try to race away from them and I didn't waste gas, tires and clutch just to show someone that my obviously fast car is in fact fast. That's cool. Though I can't really figure out why. College certainly didn't teach me that (all college taught me was that sometimes I have to do stuff I don't want to do so I can get ahead, and an extensive vocabulary of useless geologic terms) and it's not like I hang out with older people now. Most of my friends are in their early 20's still.

It's not like I have a family or serve any crucial purpose to anyone. I'm certainly not afraid of a little danger. If I got a speeding ticket at this point in my life I could handle it much better than I could as a 21 year old. I simply didn't feel the need to show this guy, who would likely forget about me 20 seconds later, how much of a bad ass I was. It would have served zero purpose.

It's hilarious to read things that I wrote in my late teens and early 20's. I was such a jerk. I had no sense of tact and everything I wrote was simply driven by rage and emotion. Yeah sure, now and then I still rage over something, but it's rare and usually done tactfully.

I have a very recent ex-girlfriend, who is now engaged, that I can guarantee has never told her very LDS fiance the truth about our relationship. Earlier in life I'd have made sure to let him know I was there first, now I just figure that's cool. They're happy. Good for them. Everyone deserves to be happy sometimes. Two nights ago I had another girl from my life invite me over for a late night visit. I texted her the next day and she didn't reply. This would have pissed me off four years ago, but now I just smile at the pseudo-romantic experience we were able to share with each other that night and understand that she just wanted a hook-up. That's fine. We all do now and then.

It's no wonder insurance for a 25 year old is so cheap. We really chill out a ton right as we approach this age.

Maybe it's because over the course of human history, 25 is actually beginning old age. Sure in the 21st century I'm in the beginning of my life still, but humans haven't always lived to be 80 years old. There is a stat I heard of life expectancy in Ancient Rome being 22. Yeah sure, as a mean life expectancy, but you have to take into account that a third of humans died before their first birthday. Even then humans had discovered how to live longer healthier lives up into their 50's. I'm talking about pre-history.

How long do we really think humans lived when we roamed the African savannah (without sunscreen!) competing with warthogs and hyenas for food and shelter and drinking water from ponds? I highly doubt too many lived past my age. This can kind of be seen in how some of our bodies really do begin to break down at this age. I'm lucky. I still feel as healthy as I did at 14, but I've spent the better part of my life as a student playing the occasional sport and having hobbies and jobs that consisted mostly of simple inside work and large amounts of sunscreen, sunclothes and portable water when I needed to be outside. I have friends who complain about waking up to back pain at my age or who have arthritis developing in their joints. We begin to get wrinkles in our 20's and some of us (like myself) begin growing a few strands of gray hair. Many people gain weight around this age as their metabolism slows. Many female bodies start beginning to show signs of gravity and many males begin to bald. How nice is it though that, barring some unexpected event, I'm not even a third of the way done with my life yet?

For most of human history, a 25 year old would have been one of the older humans in the world. I suppose that is almost still true today with our absurd birth rate, but that is tangent. Maybe evolution caused that the people who become calm and content at this age, while keeping a firey passion of everything through their youth, were able to live longer, thus produce more offspring with this trait, and this is why humans become emotionally mature in their mid-20's. Maybe God simply designed us this way for reasons we can't understand.

All I know is that I'm happy my auto insurance is cheaper now than it was 7 years ago.

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