“It is so easy to look for patterns and they don’t exist.” Zainab Sheriff reflects honestly about her feelings on turning 20 years old.
In her latest upload, after celebrating her twentieth birthday, Zainab contemplates the difficulties of aging. The video may only be three minutes long (we need more!) but she articulately highlights the all-too-relatable highs and lows of growing older, sharing what she finds scary about entering her twenties.
She mentions finding herself in the “lovely space in between when people expect you to be like a kid, so to speak, and when they expect you to be an adult”, adding that she thinks that it’s a difficult space to navigate. Opening up about a conversation she had with her manager about what it means to be an adult, she recalls being told that “parents are just kids that have kids, you don’t necessarily grow up”. Phew!
“The part that is quite scary about growing up is the fact there is this expectation that you are going to step up,” she explains, following up by mentioning a reality that many of us realise at some point during our life: “everyone grows at their own rate, no-one follows the same paths at every age”. We agree and think this is definitely something everyone should bear in mind, regardless of how old they are. Everyone is on their own path and that is okay!
She also discusses some of the pressures that society can place on us as we grow older. “The more I think about it, the more I realise that society is basically just us. We get to choose how we think about other people and how we allow each other to think of each other as well,” she articulates.
The video reaches a powerful note when Zainab explains the power we have in our own circles, mentioning that “on the people we know, we are the people that can have the biggest influence”, reinforcing the fact we all need to decide how we react to other people. We can never be certain of how our actions will impact others, and this is something we should be mindful of.
Ending the video with some personal experiences, she discusses the “parameters we use to judge how old we think someone is and the pressures this can have”. We all have experiences of people trying to guess our ages and sometimes the results are less than positive.
Zainab has managed to eloquently chat about pressures that come with aging and we’re grateful. Although we may seem eternally youthful over here at TenEighty HQ, we can definitely relate!