The Shelf-Life of Youth

You know those really cliché or obtuse sayings your grandmother would repeat to you at the most irrelevant times? Ones about saying nice things and giving milk away for free. And you'd write it off as soon as she said it because she always said weird batty things like that and how it is even relevant. Well, to my horror, I found myself thinking one of those very statements last week and only narrowly escaped saying it aloud, which surely would have secured my position as a card carrying member of the 50 and over club. 

I really did love my rainbow nail tips. My thumb nail tip was yellow, fyi. 

I really did love my rainbow nail tips. My thumb nail tip was yellow, fyi. 

I was repainting my nails for the third time in over an hour because I am admittedly terrible at painting my nails. I had been determined to choose a bright color for the last few weeks of summer because I typically wear white polish all season and wanted to take advantage of the allowances of the warmer months. After failing horrendously two times at painting my fingers a startling yellow (I loved it but it was clump-y!), I settled on a mid-range lavender shade. It was pretty but disappointing in comparison to sunshine yellow. And then I remembered seeing someone's picture of a french manicure with colorful tips instead of white and I wanted those nails on my fingers stat. When I told my boyfriend, I could actually hear the smile in his voice.

"Babe, you're too old for that, yeah?," he said in a playful in tone, no judgement in his tremor.

"Hey, I'm young!" I responded. And then I thought, Am I young enough? And then, I aged 30 years and remembered a phrase that older folk would yell after me as I went to my room to do something utterly boring like read or watch my favorite t.v. show.  

"Youth is wasted on the young."

I never really understood that statement when I was 'young.' I think maybe I didn't care to. But now I find that at the ripe-old age of 27 (which I know, I know, isn't old), I'm not only beginning to see what that means, but I'm beginning to resent it.

I'm pretty sure I'll be 17 forever. And despite what some adults may say in response, I'm okay with that. I'm happy with that. I love my youthful personality. Sure, there are downsides. But I like that things excite me so easily; that I still believe in the miracles that life has in store; that I still look at life, at least most of the time, with eyes the size of saucers like something magical could happen at any moment and I don't want to miss it. 

And I think it's my 'kid-like nature' that makes it hard for me to appreciate this quote. I don't see youth as something capable of being wasted. If I thought youth was something that could or would waste away beyond a certain age, I'd slip off into some sort of depression. Youth isn't this thing that goes bad like milk shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten about. I don't think youth has an expiration date. For those of us who are truly lucky, we preserve our inner child, fighting off the things that pose a threat to it's life: adulthood, responsibilities, death, reality, etc.   

I'll never be too old to feel young. And I'll never be ashamed of that fact. For me, youth being "wasted on the young" isn't a reality or some testament to getting older because as far as I'm concerned, I carry my youth with me. 

What do you think? Does youth have a shelf-life? (btw, Happy Fall!)

*Edited because I completely forgot that a giveaway that I'm co-hosting starts today! (And ends on the 30th.) So if you wanna win a $75 gift card to Starbucks and buy all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes that you little heart can handle, enter below!