I’ve lied about my age for as long as I can remember.
When I was 13, I pretended to be 14 and eight months so I could get a job, and at 15 I was driving my parents’ car. I remember being down at Rosebud carnival one year, telling a group of boys that my friends and I were 18. We weren’t. We were just approaching 15, and acting oh so grown up.
At 16, I pretended to be 18 and went clubbing with my aunties and this upscaling of my age continued well into my twenties. I’ve photocopied friend’s licences and used high tech equipment such as liquid paper and a laminator to create a fake ID, all in a quest to be older. And let it be told that being older opened so many doors for me… mainly nightclub doors.
I pushed the nightclub and pub scene pretty hard as a 17 year old (sorry, Mum and Dad). I had moved out of home by 20 having already graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. And, by the age of 24 I was managing people 30 years my senior.
“I lied to be taken seriously.”
This fast forward lifestyle saw me lying about my age again. But this time I was not lying to party. I lied to be taken seriously. I felt my age let me down. I held way too much responsibility for a 24 year old in a Strategic Marketing and Change Management role.
Seriously, who was going to listen and change their behaviour because of the programs I launched? Seriously, what would my 24-year-old self even know? I doubted myself while managing millions of dollars of other people’s money. Feeling like a fraud, I thought if I was older I would hold more authority. And it worked.
“At 28, I had my first child and I felt super OLD.”
Fast forward a few more years and at 28 I had my first child. Life in the fast lane came at a cost. For the first time in my life I felt OLD. Tired and burnt out. The lies began again, but this this time in reverse. When I was 30, I told people I was 26. Why? I actually don’t know. It was a good year, though. At 36 I was 30. And at 40… well let’s not even talk about that. I’ve been 36 for about six years now. Even my son was fooled up until recently.