Forever 24 years old.
The legendary James Dean only made three movies and then died at the age of 24. That’s how old most of the cast of Friends was when the show premiered. That’s really young. Yet James Dean lives on forever as a 24-year old young man. We never saw him begin to lose his hair.
Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison (lead singer of The Doors) and Janis Joplin all died at the age of 27. They will always symbolize youthful rock-and-roll. But we never saw them in their 30’s or 40’s. We never saw them make a few flop albums or experiment with doing other kinds of music other than what they were known for. They died in their prime.
In the likeness of Barbie taking on several different personas (Beach Barbie, Nurse Barbie, School Teacher Barbie, etc.) and in the likeness of the many available different versions that Ninja Turtle action figures came in (I had three Leonardo’s: regular, hockey playing, and storage shell), all of us have lived different versions of ourselves throughout life so far- including high school version, college version, post college single version, married version, with-kids version. Then there are all the minor phases in between.
What’s funny to think about is that the people you were around only during that time of your life may only know you as that version of yourself. For better or worse, you’re still that 18-year high school senior, or the “what will I do with my life?” college student, just an enhanced version. But the perception of yourself and perception of the way others see you is often different. To some people, you may be forever frozen as a version of yourself you no longer are.