What's Your Emotional Age?

The other day I read an article that was talking about emotional age. It was asking how old you’d guess you were if you had no clue about your actual physical age. I thought this was a really interesting concept and it got me thinking…how old do I feel? If I had no idea that I was born in 1988 and had just turned 24, how old would I guess that I am right now? In some ways I feel old. I worry about money and paying bills. I don’t do  spontaneous things because of money and because of responsibilities and because of other practical, boring reasons. People I’m friends with are having babies on purpose. Their weddings are no longer on Pinterest boards, they’re real. I don’t have many friends in my city, so I don’t go out that much. My life is pretty tame.

But in other ways, I feel so young. I’m mentally a teenager. Sometimes I’ll be driving and I’ll feel sure that at any point in time I’ll realize that I need to go to bed so I can wake up and go to homeroom. Or I’ll be walking through the bedding section in Target and I’ll catch myself eyeing the extra long comforters that would look great in next year’s dorm room. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, and then something snaps me back to reality and I remember that college was a while ago and now I’m a big, boring adult.

Sometimes I’ll be driving along and I’ll hear a song (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something, for example) and I’m instantly transported to the bus in middle school. Play me a little Third Eye Blind or Matchbox 20 and I stay right in middle school. Other songs make me think of high school. I remember specific dances or car rides or the time I saw Ryan Cabrera in concert on three separate occasions. Then I realize that these things happened seven or eight or ten or twelve years ago and it freaks me out. There’s no way that these moments happened so long ago. I remember them so clearly. It feels like they just ended.

Add that on to the fact that I still need to call my mom every day for help with problems and situations and basic household duties and I realize that, mentally, I’m young. I’m a teenager. I’m not ready to get married. I’m not ready to be someone’s mom. I’m not even ready to have a dog. I’m still getting everything figured out. I’m probably a solid seventeen or eighteen-year-old right now.

Then I get to thinking, “Damn. If only I could go back to high school right now, I would own senior year. I’d finally have figured out how to do my hair based on my hair type and I actually know how to dress for my body type. I know how to talk to guys I like. I would be so much better at high school now.” It’s a shame that you have to go through high school when you’re actually high school age. No one know’s what they’re doing. You’re awkward and lanky and wear weird accessories. It’s just a bad time all around. Life would be so much better if you had a few years to get it together and figure out your personal style and beliefs and then you were allowed to re-enter high school and try it again. There’d be a lot less crying and bitterness, I bet.

If you had no idea about your actual age, how old would you guess that you are right now? Do you feel younger or older than you actually are? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

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