Do you harden with age?

I know I’ve asked a similar question before, but this is weighing on my mind.

I’m not saying I’m a good person or bad person; like everyone else, I am both. I think my worst quality is that I’m a very anxious person and oftentimes my anxiety manifests as anger. I am aware of it and I try so hard to control it, but it just comes out – especially in the grocery store or other crowded spaces.

But I think my best quality is that I’m empathetic. I’m an intense person and feel very deeply, and that often helps me connect with others. It’s a good attribute to have as an artist and writer.

One thing I’ve really noticed is how I’ve changed from a very positive, upbeat person to someone a little more negative. I’ve been hurt in the past making me more than cautious.

Was it just the naivety of youth that made me upbeat? Does the world harden you as you age? How do I return to the positive person I once was? Is that even possible? I don’t have a time machine and it’s impossible to erase trauma and negative experiences. It really does add up.

Still, even though I am asking these questions, lately I’ve considered myself more optimistic than pessimistic. I’ve been through a lot of shit recently, but I am hanging on because I truly believe things can get better.

Is anyone else asking these questions? How have you changed with age? I would love to hear your best and worst qualities. 


  1. StonedRanger says

    Ive changed with age. Im 68 and the biggest change in me is my very low tolerance for bullshit. I just dont put up with it anymore. I used to be angry because of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my father, but he is now long dead and the need for anger dried up when he died. He got his. I have always tried to be empathetic but being married to my wife for 42 years has shown me how to be a better person and a better dad than I had. Worst quality is that Im slowing down and I dont know if Im just getting lazy or just worn out.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    I think I’ve softened with age. I used to be extremely intolerant of bullshit. As I’ve aged I’ve learned to let it go. Not to tolerate it continuing, but just … let it go. Remove it from my life. Anger is unnecessary, just drop it and move on. It’s liberating.

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