'There exists no manual on how to get older'

A view of the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Apps on an Iphone screen

Social media encourages us to look back - Credit: PA

It’s 2022. I’m about to turn 25.

For many reading this, that represents a mark of unfathomable youth, for others it’s the sort of age by which: “I’ll have my life sorted out by then."

The truth is that though, technically speaking, age is a race run by all at the same pace, the relativity of our growing lifespans means that each year feels shorter than the last. There exists no manual on how to get older, and as such many millennials cite their quarter life crisis as one of prevailing anxiety.

But it’s not all bad news. On a surface level, age brings with it a degree of freedom and a life less determined by impulse and irresponsibility. Though it must be said, when these freedoms are not properly harnessed they can lead to a void, whereby those who find themselves caught up in the many mysteries of adulthood are made to feel as though they’re underachieving at the expense of their own time.

Oliver Shasha

Oliver Shasha turns 25 this year - Credit: Oliver Shasha

With compounding factors such as the pandemic limiting opportunities to progress in any field, as well as nostalgia-driven social media reminding us what we did five, six and 10 years ago today, it’s easy to feel that time is rapidly leaving us in the dark.

Nevertheless, there is a remedy, or be it an anecdote within all of us. Whilst the outside world fascinates itself with technology that scares us more and more, we forget that there’s an inside to this, and to ourselves.

I realised after several bite-sized breakdowns over my age that I was falling into the trap of seeing that very age within the context of others. In reality there’s more than the voice that you project out there. Retaining who I was as a person helped me address this burning problem. I found that I was carelessly concerned with my public perception, rather than who I was to myself. We’re constantly reminded how much we’ve achieved and haven’t, and be it the latter...how we’re irrevocably doomed. But there’s more to say about self acceptance and how to pace yourself when time flies.

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There isn’t a manual on how to get old, but posing the question is the beginning of learning to look forward rather than back, and not letting time get the better of us.

Oliver Shasha is the bass guitarist with the band FEET.