At the age of 40 I’m still tired of being told I’m too young
Updated: Oct 16
You’d think it might be flattering right? But actually I’ve had so many experiences where I’ve been told I’m too young in my life, it is frankly frustrating.
The trigger for this post is being told that I am too young to be experiencing the perimenopause by the GP. Despite having logged 6-9 months of symptoms (and it’s a list that keeps growing) I’m still being told it can’t be that as “you are too young, we normally don’t diagnose people below 45”. Well what a load of rubbish - we all know there are many exceptions to the norms in life, which should be ok not something to be made to feel bad about.
It then got me thinking about all the other times I’ve been told I’m too young.
I wasn’t the right age to experience a breast cancer scare, although I was told how good I had been to check and take action.
I was apparently too young to be a director at 36 according to some people who said as much to my face and others who commented indirectly. I want to say that our age has no bearing on our ability to do a good job, our level of skill, expertise, emotional intelligence, leadership approach etc. I went through a really robust process to get the job and have worked really hard to achieve what I have in my career. I am proud of what I have achieved.
I was also too young for the job I had prior to my directorship, and I was told that by a colleague in my own team. It appeared to be very surprising that I was able to handle a difficult person and hold my own given my age.
I was “blimey a bit young to get married”, at 26, I don’t think I was that young at all. I was surely too young “to have been married and divorced” and I was far, far too young to decide I didn’t want to have children of my own because of course I would change my mind when I got older and realised I needed someone to look after me!
This list of examples really could go on and I am sure that many of those who have made these comments never intended them to be negative or seem like they were coming from a bad place.
But sadly, the impact of not only words but the tone in which they are shared has an impact, whether we realise it or not. I’ve ended up feeling like I’ve had to justify my decisions, prove myself in my role more than others and left feeling patronised and under valued.
We must find a way to be less judgemental and more supportive of each other no matter our age.