I Look Young

I must be aging in reverse, because ever since I graduated from college, people keep mistaking me for a child. When I take my students to debate tournaments, high schoolers try to show me where the ACT is. When I go to see an R-rated movie, I get carded.

One time, I brought my middle school students to a debate tournament for 6-8th graders. The judge in the round, who was a high-school student, asked me if I was one of the kids competing. Let me repeat that: a 16-year-old kid thought I was (at the age of 24), at the oldest, 14.

When I work on my writing in public, people congratulate me on studying so hard and doing all my homework.

Guys! I have four tattoos and an engagement ring. How do people still think I'm a kid?

I've heard it's because I dress young. In this post, I mentioned that I rarely have money to buy new clothes, and I still fit into what I wore in middle school, so that's probably the cause of my young style. When most of your wardrobe is graphic sci-fi tees, Chicago sports apparel, and patterned pajama pants, it doesn't exactly scream "young urban professional." Maybe I'll need to get Cice to show me how to dress better.

To be fair, this is what I looked like
the first time I signed one of my books.
It could also be because I act young. I do tend to speak way too loudly all the time, and I still fall prey to sugar rushes. Plus, as a teacher, I spend a lot of time around pre-teens and teenagers, so maybe their mannerisms have an effect on me.

People always tell me that when I'm older, I'll be thankful for how young I look. Honestly, I kind of enjoy it now. It makes me less afraid of aging too quickly. As long as people still take me and my work seriously, that's all that matters!

So, here's to all the adults out there who still get stopped at Costco's free sample counters to confirm that they're at least 16. All the adults who sometimes shop in the children's section because it's cheaper. All the adults who surprise their students' moms by being closer to the mom's age than the kid's. 

All the adults who people don't even realize are adults. Let's stay young forever! :)



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