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What does “act your age” even mean?

Have you ever heard the expression “They are not acting their age”?
Worse, has it ever been said to you?

It’s an odd, meaningless one, if you think about it.
It’s not like there is a definition of how someone should act at a certain age.
Perhaps unconsciously we have a vague idea about it.
In some cases, we might even have a common understanding of it.

We all agree that it is normal that babies cry for no reason, wear their diapers and suck their mother’s breast until one day they become toddlers.
Suddenly they become too old for all of that that and they are more interested in playing with their schoolmates.
At this stage, boys are still gross and girls are yukky.
Until that one fine day when puberty hits us.

I remember that beginning of my teenage years like it was yesterday.
Suddenly, I started crying again for no reason and had to wear a “diaper” again a few days a month.
Boys probably wanted to do that thing they did with their mother’s breast, but now just a girl around their age.
So basically, we skip a few years and then become “mature babies” again?

When I was 14, the law required me to get my own passport.
“Now you are a real grown up, you’d better act like one”, my dad winked.
I wasn’t really sure what that exactly entailed.
I always assumed it had to with being independent.
Financially, mentally and physically.
And I was none of that. Not in the full extend at least.

I was not the “typical teenager” either.
I didn’t live in a student flat.
I didn’t go to parties.
I never kissed a guy.
Despite my parents told me to loosen up a bit and act like other teenagers, they also were the ones that prohibited me from doing all that.
And I was one of those weirdo’s who simply didn’t care, because I’d have fallen asleep at 9PM on the couch anyhow.

Then I finished university, started living on my own and experienced independence for the first time.
A whole new world opened for me.
I went out dancing. I went on dates. I shared a living space with people.
And then my parents gave me another preach of me not acting my age.
They expected that in these years I’d become serious about life.

That “wild” period lasted for a little over a year until I transformed in my regular self again.
And that only emphasized when I met Jasper.
We are basically now grandma and grandpa who even on a Saturday night are in bed before 10 PM.

This weekend we decided to do something adventurous however.
We attended a concert.
Crazy. I know.
This particular music was mainly popular in the 80’s and early 90’s, so most of the audience looked like they were teenagers in that time.
Now there’s a few things I expect of myself when I am nearing my 50’s, but dancing around in low cut shirt, tight jeans  and unapologetically flirt with just about anyone when my husband is not watching, is not one of them.

I have heard that people around this age could have a  midlife crisis, but I never really witnessed it.
Despite me possibly being the youngest in the room, I felt way older than most of them.

But then again, how do we define someone acting older than their age? 😉

And here is the 29 year old me, acting totally my age 😉


For more funny photo’s, consider to connect on Facebook.
It seems to be more my thing than Twitter.

What do you think about the phrase “acting your own age”?
Do you act your own age?
Or do you feel younger or older than most people your age? Elaborate! 


Categories: Blogs

Tagged as:

Me & my Skeptical Heart

10 replies

  1. I found your comparison of babies to teenagers fascinating. So true.

    I feel like I’ve always been the more mature one (compared to others my age) and still am. But it also depends on the situation. I can also be the silliest.

    It all seems to depend on a situation we’re in.

    Two adults (and I don’t mean 18) throwing things at each other at a restaurant because they feel young and like they deserve to act like kids? Yea, I don’t think they act their age.

    Parents (again, not 18) who leave their kids with their grandparents every weekend so that they can go out and party?

    To me, it’s about being responsible and appropriate.


    1. Hehe. I thought it might be shocking for some 😉

      In the US, are you officially an adult at 18 or 21? And what were legal drinking ages again?

      Silliness is good and we are entitled to have our moments.
      I think that hearing music from you were young brings the child out in people.

      Have you also noticed btw that most 13 year old’s look older than when you were 20.
      It looks like the new generation develops earlier 🤨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a tricky question. You can vote and enlist in the military when you’re 18, but you cannot buy cigarettes or drink until you are 21. It feels so weird to not be able to legally drink in college. I think it’s silly and of course that rule is constantly broken. I found it particularly weird when I went to Denmark and was able to buy alcohol at 16, then go to Mexico and drink freely at 18, and then not be able to drink until 21 in the US.

        And OMG you are so right about the “new generations!” 15-year olds look like they’re 22 and 22-year-old like they’re 32.


  2. I too appreciate your mention of teenagers reverting back to the baby stage …”So basically, we skip a few years and then become “mature babies” again?” Love it and ’tis true in some ways. We often hear how we can look forward to going back to our baby stage in our “golden years”, so your perspective of us reentering that stage at an even earlier point on our timelines is interesting to contemplate. I’ve got an up-and-coming preteen, so I’ll be on the lookout for “baby” tendencies. Truth be told, he’s still got some right now. Hee. Hee.


  3. I feel way way older than my age. But I feel like 30s are the new 50s. I at least feel exhausted like that – and lvoe spending my weekends in bed now (rather than out partying). And I’m frankly okay with that!


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