True Age: 33

(This entry is not about my upcoming book ‘Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics’, but it does pose a philosophical question)

What is your true age? And I don’t mean in the sense of “If you smoke, you are really ten years older than you are”, but as in: “How old do you truly feel inside?” Men nearing 40 usually answer: 18. Women over 50 often say: 9. Both answers have to do something with the Child Within, I guess. Sometimes though, for some people, True Age is dictated by the Adult Within.

As for me, ever since my teenage years I have felt about 33 years old. This idea stuck with me after I read Lord of the Rings: 33 is the age at which hobbits reach maturity. The years before 33 are referred to as the Irresponsible Tweens – an individual has reached physical autonomy but not yet the wisdom and maturity of adulthood.

I had my share of the Irresponsible Tweens – but when I turned 33, I felt as if I had reached the age that has been appropriate for me as a person all along. 33 to me means that I have some experience, and the common sense to have learned from it. It also means not feeling pressured so much about What I Should Become, because I have found a place in life. 33 is immensely old when seen from the point of view of an 18-year-old, and incredibly young when you are 50. It is the perfect “free place” between youth and seniority. I don’t have to prove myself that much, and yet my existence is still full of promises and possibilities. And the best part: people started taking me seriously.

When I was in my early twenties, it often bothered me that my voice wasn’t heard, since I was a rather young and naive looking girl. When I reached my thirties, more people started to address me in a formal way, and looking to me for my opinion on things. I like that. I always have. For I was always truly 33.

This year I will turn 40 and I’m happy about it. Aging and maturing is an interesting process that we can steer and influence every day with our thoughts and behavior. Although I still feel 33 inside, I hope one day, when I reach 50 or so, the part of me that feels like a Grande Dame will awaken. Then I will recline on my sofa in my elegant home and receive many interesting visitors who long to hear my wit and wisdom… Ah, wouldn’t that be lovely!

2 thoughts on “True Age: 33

  1. hello margreet, thanks for nice comment. if i’m bringing history down to earth, you are certainly doing it with philosophy/thinking(?). i relate to your point about one’s first thought. i believe i had my first one when i was around 8-years-old. not knowing what it was, and not having anyone to talk to about it, i let it drift away. i remember the moment clearly, though i can’t remember the idea. it was many many years later before i had other thoughts and recognized them for what they were. i envy your upbringing and look forward to your book. btw, i did include a brief profile of spinoza in my comic history of the jewish people, though i thought that i was doing it as a reporter.

  2. Oooh, Spinoza, I’d love to see your depiction of him! I was a bit anxious that he was too “Dutch” too have in the philosophy book, but I guess he’s more internationally renowned than I thought. And rightly so, I find him a very sympathetic & wise character (and he was from Amsterdam, too).

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