Americans are so concerned with what others think and say that we can't just "be" in public. So sad. Isn't that why social media is so big - to make us look better/different than we are? The persona we create?
You are too young to understand this, Noah, but one of the greatest benefits of aging - if not, THE greatest benefit - is that we stop giving a damn. We can finally be authentic. After decades of trying to be who or what we aren't, we can finally be us - just us - warts and wisdom exposed for all to see! At least, that has been my takeaway of the added years. I've become quite eloquent at saying, "I don't care" and it feels fabulous!
The other day, a woman with whom I work was trying to get me emotionally involved in a situation that had nothing to do with me. I tried with grace and courtesy to distance myself from what she was saying, but she wouldn't have it. Finally, I said, "I don't give a shit." Shocked, she stammered and ran away and I felt fantastic! Yeah, aging has its benefits. Hang around long enough and you will know how wonderful it is.