Comments 2

how old are you really? here’s a concept.

Have you ever heard of the notion of a “born age”? It goes something like this: You’re born the age that you’ve always been and will always be. So you go through life at this age–not behind it or catching up to it–but at this personal, perpetual age. And the way you interpret things and act, generally speaking, are from the perspective of this age.

I’m not talking about a mental age. And it doesn’t depend on how many years you’ve been on this planet, or what your IQ is. There’s no calculation. No formula. It’s just the age you’ve always felt you are.

There’s an interview I have been doggedly trying to find. In it, the interviewer describes the concept of a born age to then-president Bill Clinton. He asks the president what he thinks is his born age. His answer? Sixteen. A teenage boy. The interviewer then tells him what Hillary Clinton’s answer was to the same question. Can you guess? Forty-two.

I kinda love what it reveals (or confirms) about a person.

If someone were to ask me about my born age, I would definitely have to say that mine is nine. My lens cap has always been through that of a nine-year-old girl. Responsibility can be a challenge for me. Weighty issues make me uncomfortable. Or they make me giggle. And not always at appropriate times. I can watch 13 Going On 30 and Pitch Perfect ad nauseum. And I am totally goofy when I should be more, um, parentlike. My level of seriousness is right on par with that of my eight-year-old daughter’s.

It’s fun to think about and to ask when friends are over for dinner. For us, this often leads to a very animated discussion about the Birthday Book, which is my next post.

So, if you had to guess, what is your born age?

{Robert Loggia and Tom Hanks in the movie, Big, 1988.}

This entry was posted in: Journal


  1. Mine’s about 25, I think. Always was a bit more serious/mature as a kid, but that mid-twenties liveliness is something I’d like to think will be a part of me for a long time.

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