I felt my oldest at 17, 20, and 24.
At 17, I sat on a swingset late at night in a public park when no one was around and cried. It was the end of my childhood I thought. Coming soon.
Came home, wrote a letter to my future self dated to when I turned 42.
At 20, I walked around going, “I’m not an adult. I’m not a teenager. What AM I?
At 24, I sat at the beach while some friends went late night swimming.
I ran the grains of sand through my fingers. Had a big nihlist moment. I wrote about it later on when I got back home to my computer.
It was 1996 and I said to my online group, “I can see myself in 20 years, lonely and suicidal. I need to find a purpose.”
So, now it’s 2016. 20 years later. I’m not lonely and suicidal.
In 2014, I was 42, I opened up the letter from my 17 year old self on my birthday. I became the man I wished I’d become, just in different ways than my 17 year old self was assuming, but I matched all of my dreams and I’m continuing to.
Best thing that helped me (and I can’t say it’d help everybody, just me) was when I realized that I was comparing myself to how I was at younger ages.
When I was 17, I was an “old 11 year old”. That’s what I cried over.
When I was 24 comparing myself to “me at 14/15″. Too old to be a teenager anymore.
Once I realized, “I am the age I am and that’s good no matter what it is” and stopped comparing myself to my past me’s and the long gone social situations that don’t exist anymore (school, old friends, old habitss, etc), it was freedom.
I’m 44 years old now. Every day is the best of my life because I’m always at the peak of it. I’ve attained a height never possible in my entire personal history.
I’m 100% complete at every stage and every age. There is no comparison between them.
So, there you go. I can’t say this applies to everybody because I’ve only ever been me and only ever experienced “life as me”. But I share anyway.