Why You Should Stop Telling People Your Age.

I’m going to ruin something for you, one of those “can’t unsee”, or in this case “can’t unhear” moments: Have you noticed how often people ask you how old you are?

I hadn’t, until recently.

I was meeting up with an old friend for coffee, mainly to meet her new girlfriend, and within 20 minutes of meeting her I asked her how old she was.

Her response was awesome. “I actually don’t tell people my age.” 

Instantly, I was embarrassed because I felt that I had crossed a line, but she went on to tell me that I hadn’t but age simply doesn’t matter.

“What difference does it make if I was 47 or 25… why did you  need to know that to continue having this conversation?

After saying our goodbyes, I pondered about it… why did I ask?

I realized it was because I wanted to justify the advice I wanted to give her… if she was younger than me I could impart my wisdom, my life experience. If she was older however, my advice probably wasn’t as sound. In short, my asking her her age was some weird roundabout way of finding justification to belittle her, or talk down to her. In another light, it was a form of disqualification of my own advice, as if my lived experience was only useful if she was younger and that it wouldn’t be to someone older than me.

It was a real mind altering moment for me.

I told myself I will never tell someone my age again. Not because I am ashamed of how old I am, I’m not. It’s because it really doesn’t add anything to the conversation, nor to a friendship, or a relationship (unless of course it comes to being underage, in which case it’s a legal issues but I’m not getting into that.) 

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I have met 17 year olds who know more about politics, life, love and loss than some 50 year olds. I have met 30 year olds who have the maturity of 18 year olds and 10 year olds who have the maturity of  70 year old wise monks.

AGE IS BUT A NUMBER.

Perhaps if there was a level-of-experience-measurement in life that we could throw at each other, then it would be worth asking. But how long you have lived, isn’t really a measurement on how much you know or don’t know. It isn’t a measurement on how valid your wisdom is.

There are other really good reasons not to tell people your age.

1. Certain careers, (modelling, acting, singing, sports) will force you into retirement once they feel you are too old to represent their brand. By not telling people your age, you can go ahead working due to your talent and not your “expiry date”

2. No one will force you to get on their schedule. Ever been told you have to settle down or have children, or hit a certain job milestone? Has anyone ever told you that “you still have time, you’re young?” They can’t do that when they don’t know your age! And all of that is a form of belittling, by the way.

3. No one will ever tell you, “WOW YOU DON’T LOOK (your age)” This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I realize it’s meant to be a compliment, but the truth of the matter is, in fact you do. You do look that age, because you are that age. What they’re really saying with this bizarre compliment isyou don’t look as old as I imagined people your age look”. Weird Flex but okay. 

4. People don’t encourage bad habits by relating to your age. This happens on either side of the age spectrum. When you are “young” you can make excuses for partying, eating too much, making stupid decisions, and you will meet someone of the same age who can justify all that. “We’re 17, we’re still young, doing a little coke won’t hurt.” I realize that’s super dramatic…but it’s the drug of choice in high schools at the moment. When you are “old” you can make excuses for being tired and not wanting to exercise, not going out, not enjoying yourself. “We’re 60, our backs are going to ache, it doesn’t matter whether we go to the gym or not”… I won’t get too into this, but working out while you age is so important for bone health!

5. You never have to be subject to the feeling of uselessness. This is particularly for women, mainly because we are essentially told that after 30 we are unseen, and don’t even get me started with after 50!  It’s this odd phenomenon. Many women believe it and I have dated a handful of men who swear by it. Which is disgusting. If no one knows your age, they can’t make you feel invisible, ugly, unwanted, less than human. If no one knows your age, you can parade around as the perfect person you are without judgment (at least in that respect).

There are many more, but are you starting to see my point?

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Since keeping my age to myself I am happier. I am more free, open minded, and much more willing to accept any advice, and trust my own. Oddly, it has helped me to become more mature. I would encourage anyone, of any age to try it. I’m not saying you have to do it – but maybe try it out and see how it feels?

You may find yourself a whole new world.

~Athena and Hermes~

 

I Smoked Weed and Went Into Psychosis

This is not right wing propaganda.

I say this because I know how much bullshit you have read from the “righties” about how weed is bad.

Weed is not bad. For the most part, weed is a drug that helps many people. It helps them with pain, with sleep, with getting out of their head..etc etc etc. In fact, it’s been said you can’t even overdose on it … at least there aren’t studies yet to prove otherwise.

So as you read this please keep in mind – if you smoke and love it = All the power to ya. The people who I am really calling out to are those who haven’t yet smoked and are thinking of trying it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was you.

I am a goody two shoes and have spent most of my life following the straight and narrow. So when I decided I wanted to try weed, I did my reading. (I know, lame… but I wanted to know I wasn’t putting myself in harms way)

Everything I read about was great stuff! I could also tell when it was “war against drugs” propaganda and I concluded that – “YEP. I am going to have some fun and let loose. The worst that can happen is a get a little paranoid, or a eat a whole bag of chips…or five.”

Famous last words. (But I’ll get to that.)

It was the weekend, I told my boyfriend – Will you teach me how to smoke weed? I want to try.

He was perplexed and shocked, because the woman he dated up until that moment was against all substances! But after some convincing, he agreed.

He rolled a joint. We went to the balcony and smoked.

(I smoked barely a puff because I didn’t want to over do it my first time)

Nothing happened.

After about an hour, I was kinda bummed out that he was high, and I experienced nothing – my eyes weren’t even blood shot… all that for nothing?

Babe? Can we try again? 

After nearly burning off my eyebrow trying to use a bong, we rolled another joint.

I smoked it. I felt tired. Oh this is what it’s like to be high. NOOOOT BAAAAD.

 I then felt nauseous and so I curled up and went to sleep.

OR SO I THOUGHT.

I woke up the next morning and my boyfriend was being super strange. I could tell he wanted to talk to me, but didn’t know how to breach the topic. Finally we sat down and he told me what had happened.

I had indeed gone to sleep – for a total of about 30 seconds. I then bounced up, full of energy and started talking a mile a minute about how I had just entered another dimension through his shoulder. I did that on repeat about 15 times, unable to remember I had just told him that.

I then looked out the window of our apartment and on a dime switched into thinking I was in a war-torn country. He said I barely recognized him, and I was distraught and unable to recognize we were still in Canada.

By the time he got me out of my funk, I got out of bed, butt naked, exited our room and went into the bathroom where I yelled for the world to hear: I AM IN A JUNGLE!! He came into the bathroom trying to calm me down and took me back to bed where he lay me down and told me he was going to the bathroom.

He stopped telling me the story for a second and then lead me to our bedroom and pointed to one of the paintings above our bed. It’s one of those paintings that completes an image with four canvases.  He continued “ When I went to the bathroom you turned this upside down last night, claimed you didn’t, and said it was talking to you.” 

I stared at the wolf painting. It was creepy. I had spun the picture around so that the eyes of the wolf were lopsided.

I don’t remember doing thatI don’t remember any of this. 

There was more.

He said once he finally got me to calm down (I apparently went through each of these scenarios several times) he put me to bed and had to convince me it was TIME FOR BED.

Once we were in bed, and he had me secure under the blankets, I started to talk once again. This time he ignored me, he said he wanted to see what I would do if I didn’t think he was watching.

I started talking to myself. He said distinctly four different versions of myself. It was as if I was hearing the movie SPLIT  he told me.

He said I cycled through these four characters flawlessly as if they were real people. They would interrupt each other, and each time they came back they picked up where they left off. They said various things – some were lies, but some…some were real things I don’t talk about.

He looked at me, lots of love in his eyes. Babe… are you diagnosed with a personality disorder? 

I stared at him. No.  I haven’t been.

I am bi polar, and he knows that. But a personality disorder?! No… it scared me. I had no recollection of any of it, except for feeling woozy.

I, of course, then did the next thing you shouldn’t do. SEARCHED THE NET. But I was surprised that any kind of thing of this nature was being dismissed as “you didn’t smoke weed man” or “this doesn’t happen.”

Here is the thing. If you are bi polar. IT CAN.  

I spoke to my therapist about it, and weed is probably one of the worst things I could do with my bi polar. I already am extremely susceptible to high dopamine levels with my mania and a heightened version of that induced by weed can cause hallucinations, delusions and  fragmentation. THIS IS CALLED A PSYCHOTIC BREAK.

 AND NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT.

With weed becoming legal in Canada now, we need to have more discussions of weed and the affects on mental health and those with mental illness. It can be very dangerous. This is not to say that ALL those with bi polar will go through this. But it is important to talk about because many more people will start to experience this.

It is SO IMPORTANT to be in a safe space when trying it for the first time. 

I am so thankful that I was in a safe space, with someone who cared about me, who could reign me in when I was taking my clothes off – yelling about being in jungles (which was apparently the bathtub) and fearing for my life in what I thought was Afghanistan. The entire ordeal was 4 hours long. My boyfriend deserves a medal.

Yes, weed is legal. But there is very little science right now about it and how it affects everyone. We don’t know what doses different people need, we don’t know the long term effects, we don’t know all that much… so

Smoke it or don’t.

But please be safe. ❤

~Athena & Hermes~