Day Eight: When Acting Older Than You Are Goes Wrong

24 11 2008

It’s always a trip to find out who people think you are. I always say it, but now I know it’s true: most people who know me don’t know me. Case and point, I went to watch the Redskins/Seahawks game by my friend Tiffany’s house yesterday, which was funny in itself ‘cause knowing all the folks I know from Seattle, you would think every Black person from there somehow relocated to the D.C. metro area. Anyway, we were all talking about Bernie Mac and an article that ran in People magazine about his wife and daughter. I told them that his daughter went to Xavier, but I never saw her. Here goes Tiffany:

 

“You probably wouldn’t have seen her. She’s younger than you.”

“No, she’s older than me,” I said. “How old do you think I am?”

“Thirty-four.”

 

Yes y’all, a whole 34-years-old. I don’t mean this as an affront to any of y’all who are 34 or older, but she gave me an extra seven years and put me six years away from 40. I protested the age increase on the spot and I may have insulted her friends in the process. Still, I’m not taking the L on 34.

 

“Do I look like I’m 34?”

“No, I’ve always been around you at work and you act older. And I saw your portfolio and all the stuff you’ve accomplished, I thought you were older.”

That part I took as a compliment. Like I told Tiffany, if I were 34, I would really have my $#!+ together. I wouldn’t be so frantic and all over the place like I am now. My age discrimination aside, it felt pretty good to have someone say I’ve accomplished a lot. There are so many days when I wake up thinking I’ve done absolutely nothing with these 27 years. Then feel like a jerk for thinking that way.

If only it were this easy

If only it were this easy

 

 

 

Just as one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, your everyday, mundane routine that you take for granted could be looked upon as extraordinary accomplishment to someone else. I’m not trying to brag, but not everybody’s first freelance assignment is with Black Enterprise. Most people haven’t written their way to Germany and back. Still fewer others have the cajones to leave the security of a full-time job and benefits to pursue their dreams and have the full support of their family at the same time (call me crazy or foolish or both, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done). So, not only should I be mad thankful, but I should give myself permission to say I’ve done a little something-something every once in a while. That’s not an excuse to rest on my laurels, but I can acknowledge that while there’s so much more I want to do, I have accomplished a lot and it shouldn’t take someone else to point that out to me.

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