How did you look at aging in 2011? How are you looking ahead to 2012 and the age you're going to be?
If there was one word I could use to describe how I viewed being nineteen, it would be comfortable. 2011 was the first year where I felt like I could genuinely appreciate my age; I wasn't (and still am not) in a rush to get to a particular age, as I have been in the past.
From the time I was ten and up until now, I always wanted to be older. It wasn't only because I wanted to dress a certain way or do certain things, but rather because I always felt like I had the mindset of somebody other than my age (for example, when I was thirteen I wanted to be sixteen, sixteen I wanted to be eighteen, and so on). I don't think it had a whole lot to do with my maturity level as much as it had to do with my perspective on life. That's why I've always tended to gravitate toward people a year or two ahead of me. I wanted to be around those who not only could accept me, but could identify with that perspective.
Since I'll soon be entering my twenties, it's slowly hitting me that there's a lot of stuff that's not that big of a deal anymore. It's fine to have friends that are a couple of years (or more) that are older. It's fine to want a real, loving relationship instead of something that's superficial. And it's normal to have deep conversations and express deep thoughts; most people in their twenties should be mature enough not to get turned off by that.
But as for the aging process? Well, I don't know how I should be feeling about it, simply because I'm not there yet. I'm not dreading it, nor am I excited about it. I did ask my Mother once about when I should start using anti-aging cream, but I can't remember her answer. It was more or less to just keep using moisturizer and then consider anti-aging stuff after I hit thirty.
However, I have learned that one of the key tips to aging gracefully is to start practicing healthy habits when you're young. I'm thankful that my generation is more informed on things such as exercise, eating right, tanning, and plastic surgery. It's important to understand the risks of sacrificing your health for the sake of wanting to turn heads (or to keep on doing so).
I'll never forget an amazing piece of advice that I picked up while watching a segment on aging during Oprah's Lifeclass a couple of months ago. I can't quote it verbatim, but it went along the lines of how it's often vital to try and find something to be known or recognized for, aside from physical beauty. As much as we think we can prolong it through cosmetic procedures, it doesn't always work that way. When you choose to base your existence around something other than looks, the concept of getting older becomes less of a pitfall.
Right now, I'm just doing what I can not to stress or become overly concerned about it. Hopefully when it does happen, I will have truly learned how to embrace it and not run from it.