Biochemistry, spontaneity and a fear of death!
My 25th birthday is lurking about in the shadows. I'm feeling a lot of very confusing things about turning 25. On the one hand I'm excited and thrilled by the thought that I have lived for a quarter of a century, on the other hand I'm feeling the weight of what I expect a 25 year old human child, I mean human being should act and be like. One thing that scares me though, is the fact that I'm getting closer and closer to the ripe age of 26 (that's right, I said ripe). Science tells us that for most people, our prefrontal cortex is fully formed by the age of 26. Why is this scary? Well, because once your prefrontal cortex is formed your appetite for risk diminishes; your neuro-plasticity becomes somewhat less malleable and your ability to learn diminishes. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of inspiring lifelong learners out there, the reality though is that you're more likely to stick to what you know. Ok, maybe I'm misrepresenting the research and exaggerating a little! What this means (a developed cortex) is that you're moving into adulthood; it means that part of your brain which helps weigh judgments, outcomes and decisions is now in full powered mode. This is good and possibly partly explains the sense of 'wisdom' that comes with growing older.
So I guess what I'm trying to say to you dear reader, is that growing older is both fun and scary, exhilarating and confusing......couple that with biochemistry, spontaneity and a fear of death and you've got your self the most troubling formula in the world!