“Old people.” Who even are they? Apparently, the oldest millennials are middle-aged, but I walk up to Main Street, Thot Catalog Village and see the piano man singing a song at the third nicest faux-Irish pub; he’s in his thirties but it’s like he’s never graduated high school. Everyone seems to be in amber, even though they’ve gotten more bloated. I love how my town makes me feel like I’m spiritually still in 2007.

Parties? The two-party system is Saturday and Sunday, and Saturdays are for the boys! I always envied them because they could rebel without repercussions. I’ve been all over the world (digitally) but my peers don’t know about the culture war we’re supposed to be fighting in and what for; they shrug their shoulders at the idea of theory. I had to be a role model, whatever that was supposed to be…

One of my weirdest elementary school dinner table memories was when my sister brought up how her ethics professor asked her class “Do you think the mentally retarded should be sterilized?” I also heard about housing markets, college tuitions, careers, breakups, divorces, wakes, funerals, and death at dinnertime. I felt like a teenager prematurely and was blackpilled about how adulthood would be in some respects.

The internet was a sick safe space in a way, I could just read Wikipedia pages or check out Jezebel and other blogs to zone out of the weird boredom I felt with peers around my age; why do you care so much about this high school relationship? It’s not like anyone is having sex, and statistically speaking there’s a one in one hundredth chance of you marrying each other… or… Oh wow, you found out about EDM? Try bloghaus, it’s easier on the ears for all of us and maybe you’ll actually enjoy it instead of just liking something that’s popular for the sake that it’s considered normal.

I felt the pull of adulthood around me from private school kids whose parents pre-planned them to become lawyers, doctors, and other prestige professionals.

I felt authoritarianism come from all the corners of my personal space: God, school, parents, and the eternal “permanent record;” it only makes sense, we were going to be the old people one day, demerits weren’t just a stain on your soul, they could jeopardize your place in the good college, which could affect the chance of a good grad school, which meant your chances with a good husband and future for your kids were compromised. You do want to look good for the polo shirt-wearing, boat shoe boy, don’t you?

That mindset almost killed me, and epilepsy makes me feel physically older at times; I walk around with pills to keep me alive, read articles about how to improve my quality of life, and go on pre-2005-looking forums to find any new tidbit to improve my unpredictable lifespan. I think that I’ve accidentally aged my brain in all the wrong ways.

Old soul? Old brain.

But enough complaining and yuppie hipster bullshit, here’s some positivity… one of my best friends is…

My aunt. She’s also an “old person.”

She never apologized for being into “weird stuff.” She tries to be self-sufficient in whatever way possible and has dedicated her life to learning more than what she was limited to in her youth; like me she’s an internet sleuth, trying to understand the nuances of a world that humans haven’t evolved to accommodate to; she also has a neurological condition that could spiral, and on top of that lost a son to brain cancer. She’s trying to understand the organ that can tell our age.

She’s going beyond just being online, she’s creating a healthy, mostly organic life with beekeeping. Once you learn about how industries and infrastructures want you on life support, you experience ego death beyond your comprehension; sometimes you find answers, sometimes you get questions that lead you to more questions that make you wonder why transparency isn’t as feasible as you want it to be. She’s doing her part to prevent the world food supply chain from collapsing and she helped make me the old person I want to become.

Her bond with her husband, my uncle, is like yin and yang; He curated a library of books that would make the average college professor’s office look weak, especially with history and agriculture-related subjects. His ponytail is a post-retirement “fuck you” to the establishment nerds he had to cater to, politics aside. He looks back while she looks forward, creating a balance of knowledge that needs to be preserved.

They’ve checked out of the cultural proxy wars that have unfortunately engulfed people who thought they were up against something bigger than themselves (how many people do you know can earnestly back up being legitimate hippies?) or are fighting internet wars (I’m sure we can all agree that some people just play out their fantasies via keyboards while waiting for our chosen leader to come and save us).

Being old isn’t about age, it’s about what punches you’ve had to take, “Ls” you’ve had to graciously accept, and what you’re going to leave behind besides your dust mass.