Who Feels Old Before Their Time?

I have always felt old - much older than my physical age (32). As far back as when I was 14 or 15 I felt like I was in my 30’s. I think I have had several mini “midlife crises” as I went through my 20’s. And now, at age 32, I feel like I am 60 or 70. Note that I’m not talking maturity necessarily, but a feeling of being used up and somewhat worn out - just plain old.

Is this a common feeling - and does it commonly seem to last so long and consistently?

Are there any other Dopers old before their time? And how old are you, IRL and in feelings?

Coincidence . . . Just this morning I was thinking, “I could not possibly live to be as old as I feel today.”

I’ve always felt older too. Even as a child, when my father would take me out, I would prefer to talk to the adults than play with the kids. As a child, I didn’t understand kids. I went through a period where I finally started identifying with my own age group (ages 12-18), then I got married and had a baby at 18. I’m 29 and have had two husbands and four kids. I feel older than 29. I had what felt like a mid-life crisis at 24. I hope that wasn’t a premonition on how old I’m going to be when I die. I would say that at this point, I feel about 40, give or take a few years. Strangely, I do feel younger now than when I was a child. I felt ancient at the age of 6.

The odd thing is that people still place me in my early 20’s and I get ID’d regularly. I’ve seen jaws drop when I mention that my oldest will be 11 this year.

Let me also mention that I’ve generally felt more comfortable with, and made friends with, people who are older than I am.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt that I was mature - even now, at 24, I still feel that I’m playing “grown-up”. However, I found the children I went to school with annoying, and preferred the company of older children. My mother says that as a toddler, I never ran, but walked everywhere, so much so that other adults would comment on how well behaved I was. Now that I’m a bit older, I have Fibromyalgia Syndrome, which makes my body feel very old. I find I can empathise with the aches and pains my parents and grandparents describe. I feel like a little kid trapped in an old person’s body, and I don’t like it at all. Still, I’d better get used to it, as I plan to live to be 100 :slight_smile:

Definitely. I’m 31, but I feel a hell of a lot older, in demeanor, in physical disposition, in attitude, in everything. People on the SDMB and the old AOL board have, in fact, mistaken me for being older than I am (50s or 60s) because I apparently come off as a cantankerous old fart.


You’re only 31 ?

Like cazzle, I tend to feel like I’m not a grown-up at all. Even though I have a full-time job, am putting myself through graduate school, and maintain my own apartment and pay all my own bills with no help. Some of it comes from a sense of not having accomplished enough by my age (29), which, oddly, in turn makes me feel old because I feel like I’m falling behind.

And I do feel worn out a lot. I get worked up about things and end up emotionally exhausting myself with worry and fear. It’s something I’m successfully working on, and it’s getting better, but man do those days suck hard.

I’m hoping the old before my time feeling is just temporary - I’ve been having a lot of back, neck, and wrist pain and stress lately from my job, and it’s starting to really suck. I woke up stiff and sore (as usual) this morning, and thought to myself, “If I feel like this at 34, I don’t even want to know how bad it’s going to be at 64.” My bf was kind enough to point out that humans are only built to live to 40, and after that it’s a continuous downhill slide - injuries don’t heal very well, body starts breaking down, etc. That’s good to know - I have 6 more years of feeling crappy, then I get to start feeling REALLY crappy. Sheesh.

I know exactly what you mean. I often feel like I was born at the age of 20 and have been progressing past that ever since. These days my hands hurt almost every day. I am desperately trying to figure out what I can do that does not involve typing, because if this continues to progress, I’m going to have to find a new career. What happened to all those promises that the immuno-disorders research would bring an effective arthritis cure? Dammit, I should still be under warranty!

Put me down with Rosebud and Cazzle. I’m 35, and I guess I’m a responsible and functioning adult, but I have great trouble believing it sometimes. I don’t feel adult or grown-up at all. Most especially two years ago, when I bought a house, I had this odd feeling of illegitimacy: like, what business do I have even using the word “mortgage?”

Contrariwise, again like Rosebud, I continue to be dismayed at the accomplishments of people much younger than me, which makes me feel old before my time. “A company president at 26? Is that normal? I couldn’t run a company!”

Finally, Rosebud, I’m amazed to learn you’re 29. You look about ten years younger than that. I bet you get carded alla time.

[singing]* I’m much too young to feel this damned old…*[/singing]

18 IRL, feel old. And depressed, but that’s another story. :frowning:

I’ve been on both sides of this coin. When I was 23-24, It seemed like I was just playing adult. I felt much younger than that, still acted like a moron, made lots of bad decisions that people usually are able to attribute to “being a stupid teenager”. That was me at 24

Now, I’m a month away from 28, I feel like I’m creeping in on 40. Mostly in my attitude and what I do for fun (or, more appropriately, what I don’t do for fun anymore.) I think that my 26th birthday, I hit some wormhole and went from 17 to 38. It’s good though. I think I’m much happier now with a house and a car and a decent job, rather than sitting around smoking pot and drinking cheap whiskey in a apartment with the electricity cut off

Aw, shucks.

I don’t get carded as often as you’d think-- even when I’m out with PattyCake, who not only looks young but is very petite which compounds things. Yet when I do, it can end up being less than cheering. One girl carded me last spring at an East Side bar; she realized I was 28 (at the time) and almost died of shock: “I can’t believe you’re that old!

Gee, thanks, honey. I’m trying not to go all stereotypically freaky about turning 30 this summer, but people like her aren’t helping me any.

I’m 18 iRL. 19 in about half a year, but I, like some of the other young posters say, have always felt much older. I never understood the immaturity of my peers during elementary, middle, or high school.

To toss out an answer as to -why- I think this way (To try and draw in some new perspectives from other posters)

I think it has to do with my own childhood. I never ‘grew up’ in the way that most children do…and never really got -into- the ‘spastic, energy-filled, funloving’ stage. Instead, I was always ushered into being this responsible, hard-working, semi-cynical boy. Instead of playing ball, I read books. Instead of joining the Cub Scouts, I learned how to use a computer. :stuck_out_tongue:

Does this strike any of you as sounding familiar? I would be curious if any of you felt this way, too.



Rosebud: You look younger, take that as a compliment! :slight_smile:

Me: I’m 21, but commonly get mistaken for being older. It doesn’t bother me. Overall, I think I’m more mature than most kids my age. (Read: I had my mid-life crisis early on, and’ve grown up a lot the past few years.) I see myself chillin’ often with a crowd slightly older than me. I think I have more common ground with them, generally speaking, than the people my age.

Well, Ashley, I’m the one who mentioned earlier living in a half world of not getting along with people my own age, while still having a feeling of being much younger than I really am. My childhood sounds much like yours - reading, and computers were my world. I hate all sports, always have, and with my trouble fitting-in with my own age group, books were my friends, and I loved them like they were actually friends.

I can say for certain that at 16, I thought I was a lot more mature than I really was. At 16, I thought I was an adult in all but name. I wanted to move out of home - at 17 I actually did. At 18, my adult status was confirmed in my eyes. Yet even at that point, I looked back on 16 scornfully, and realised that I hadn’t been mature or adult or responsible at that age. At 21, I looked back on 18 blushing. How could I have been so immature? At 24, I look back at 21, and see some room for improvement, but otherwise, it’s not too bad. This is a good feeling, I hope it lasts for a few more years :slight_smile:

I know I slowed down after 19. Suddenly, the music was too loud. The people were too dead-end. The lifestyle just wasn’t worth it, and I began assessing and repairing the various factors in my life that I decided I didn’t want to be stuck with forever. I weeded out the bad friends, and they took their drugs with them. I cleaned up my home, and tried to clean up my boyfriend. When he refused to clean up, I dumped him and moved on. I sought reconsiliation with people I felt I’d hurt over the years, and I’m thankful to say that I am now best friends again with someone who wouldn’t even speak to me for nigh on to eight years!

I look back on this reformation period now with mixed emotions. I think it was when I finally started to get my life on track, but then I got sick. And that put a serious spanner in the works. I have so many aches and pains that I feel like I’m 70 in the body, but the depression that set in with it caused me to look back fondly on a time when I was happy - childhood. I now collect books that I read as a child, and my friends and I play together like we’re a bunch of 5 year olds. Yet, IRL, I’m about to be married, we’re buying a house, I’m a genealogist (how’s that for an old person’s hobby! Oh, I know there are other younguns like me out there doing it, but the majority are in their later years!), and my whole life is as grown up as you can get. Still, I sometimes feel that I’m a sham, that I’m a kid playing grown-ups. I’m a 10 year old kid stuck in the body of a 70 year old, playing a game about being 20-something. :slight_smile: It’s a really good game though - I’m loving it!!

A quote from one of the books I read as a kid went along the lines of “She felt so old. Which just went to show how young she really was” - L.M. Montgomery

I do. I’m 21 now (22 in June) but feel about 50.

I was going to type a lot more, but the more I thought about this the more depressed I got. I’ve never really been young, or impulsive, or carefree, I’ve always felt old, tired, worried and depressed. I feel like I’ve gone directly from childhood to this quasi old age with no stop over at “teenager” or “young adult”, and I’ve missed out on so many important stages of social and emotional development. I can’t relate to my peers for a lack of common interests, and I can’t really relate to people older than myself because chronologically I am young and simply haven’t shared thier life experiences. I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere and I don’t know what the fuck to do with my goddamn life.

::sigh:: I think I’m going to mope now. :frowning:


Is your birthday before, or after DragonCon?

If you’re like me, you won’t freak when you turn 30, but when you hit 31. I’m not sure why that was.

I am 31 and feel about 50. When I was 29, I had a bona fide midlife crisis, just like the guy in “American Beauty”, but it was before the movie came out. I got a tattoo, smoked some pot, moved to California, and had an affair.

On the other hand, I have the sense of humor of a 14-year-old.