As you get older, there are fewer and fewer people to impress.
When you’re young, you have so many people to impress: teachers, classmates, your parents, your friends, parents of friends.
You get a little older and you go to college. You’re constantly meeting new people, trying to make an impression, making snap judgments about whether people are “your kind of people” or not, trying to be liked, trying to fit in, trying to find your place.
You finish college and go out into the real world. Now you have to impress your boss, your co-workers. After work you go to bars, parties, mixers, and always you’re trying, on some level or another, to impress the people you meet. You’re always out there, always searching, always putting your best foot forward, or at least trying to.
And then before you know it, all of a sudden you’re married and you have kids and a house and a career. You settle down. You stay home on Saturday nights and cook dinner. You drive to your parents’ house for Sunday lunch. You go to a movie two or three times a year. Your horizons have narrowed. It’s harder to travel, harder to go out, and it’s increasingly unheard of to go to bars or parties or mixers.
As you get older, the world shrinks. But there’s a certain kind of freedom in that – in not having so many people to impress.