I don’t feel young, I know that for sure. I remember what young feels like and this isn’t it.
I don’t think I feel old either, although perhaps I do. Perhaps this is what old feels like?
Perhaps there is no old.
Perhaps there’s just evolution. No graduated stages of mental cognition. No aging over the whole of your life. Just young brains and mature brains.
If you’re unlucky, there’s a third stage. If you’re unlucky, there’s decay. The brain starts to stutter and falter. The you that is you starts to disappear.
I’ve been lucky so far.
Neither young nor old, what I feel like is me. I think perhaps there is no stage beyond not-young. I think maybe once you cross over into maturity, that’s it. That is not to our development is finished. But I think once you cross over, it starts to become about the deepening.
This is not an original thought though it’s been on my mind. I’ve heard it from others, some who are younger than me and some who are significantly older. They don’t affiliate with a set point in time. They don’t feel represented by the earth’s passage around the sun. They simply feel like themselves. They become more sophisticated and nuanced in their thinking as time passes but they don’t feel old. They feel like themselves and that feels remarkably ageless despite the changes that time wreaks on the body.
Some people, I think, don’t get that click. Some people, I think, hold onto an immature brain forever. I wonder if they know? I suspect not. The presence of adults with immature brains would explain a lot, however.
Once young is left behind, we are mature. What we choose to do with that is up to us. How complex we choose to make our maturity is a personal choice.