Aging. It’s one of those things that I always thought was for ‘old people’ to worry about. And now I realize that while I may not be old yet, I will be some day. As much as I like to pretend my life has not changed since I was a young lass of 18, there are some definite signs that none of us are as young as we used to be.
10. Technology starts to seem scary. I remember when I was a little kid, I’d get really frustrated when my mom didn’t know how to do something on the computer and I did. I am now waiting for kids to start getting frustrated with me. Most 3-year-olds were using iPhones before I learned how. And still, I use mine for things like phone calls and texting. I don’t understand Instagram or Snapchat or any of these other wacky things that “kids these days” are using.
9. The disappearance of your ability to metabolize both food and drink. Remember in high school, when you could eat like, Cheezits and cheesecake for lunch and wash it all down with regular Coke and still fit in your pants day after day? I remember, and I miss it. Now, it’s like I eat one thing with too much added sodium and I’m too bloated to fit in my pants for a week. And to go with your fun new inability to process food, you also get to experience and exciting new level of hangover. Ah, those halcyon days of the early 20s when you could have a late night out with your friends, and then wake up at like, 8am the next day and feel great. Now, I have two glasses of wine at dinner, and when the alarm goes off the next morning it’s like, “NOOOOOOOO WHYYYYYYYYYYY.”
8. You can’t tell how old kids are. I think when I was a kid, I knew how old other kids were, but once someone passed age 20, I had no concept of adult ages. I still don’t (just this weekend I found out a guy I thought was my age was in fact 34), and now, I can’t tell kids’ ages, either. If they’re not in a stroller, they could be 5, or 8 or 13. Regardless, they’ll be better dressed and have a nicer phone than me.
7. You start waxing nostalgic about the “good old days”. This is a sure sign you are turning old., because no young person is ever uncool enough to talk about how great things used to be. I keep having these moments of “Hey, do you guys remember what everything was like before the internet? When payphones were still a thing? When you had to actually watch commercials on TV?” I’m not yet to the point where I talk about how much better the old days were, which means I’m not yet geriatric, but I fear I’m getting close.
6. You start paying for things. It’s not all bad stuff that comes with getting older. There are some high points, too. In college, we would routinely walk several miles to go out to dinner, rather than shelling out $2 to ride the subway, or the ungodly amount a cab would have cost. When you’re an adult, you’re like, “Eh, my time is worth $10 to take a cab or pay for parking.” And there’s nothing more adult than the feeling that comes at dinner with friends and you have the ability to just grab the check and say, “I got this!” rather than doing the awkward, always-short cash count of your younger years.
5. You begin thinking about developing a “skincare regimen”. I remember when I used to just ignore all skincare ads that had “anti-aging” in them and only paid attention to the ones for acne. Now, it turns out, I pay attention to both. It’s a cruel joke that they tell you to use sunscreen as a kid when you’d rather just get outside and start playing already, and then suddenly as an adult, you’re like, well, I guess I should have actually listened to that, and now instead I will contemplate paying an absurd amount of money to have skin that looks like it did when I didn’t care about what my skin looked like.
4. Furniture and grocery stores become a fun adventure instead of an annoying chore. As a kid, I hated grocery shopping; it was always just like, “Mom, can you hurry up and pick out some lunch meat already? I’m missing Wishbone!” Now, I find grocery stores to be fun and relaxing and a cool place to look at all the kinds of cheese. Similarly, furniture stores used to be a place where Saturday afternoon fun went to die, and now they’re a place I’m trying to find the time to hang out in more.
3. You get really excited about getting carded. It used to be a thing to be avoided, and then it was just a hassle, and now it’s like, ‘Thank goodness! You don’t think I look 40! Please, look at my ID.”
2. You realize (and perhaps start accepting) that adulthood is a myth. Everybody gets older. Only some of us grow up. The sooner we realize and accept this, the better, though I find it’s one of those things only learned and appreciated with experience. One of the cool things about being a kid is you get to look forward to being an adult, which you think is a magical time when you’ll know everything. And then you turn 18, and 21, and 25 and you’re like, “Okay, I can vote/drink/rent a car – where’s my membership card to the secret society where they tell me all the answers?” You’ll get older, it’s inevitable, but there’s a part of you that might always feel like an overwhelmed little kid who has no idea what’s going on, and that’s okay.
1. You question the age-appropriateness of your music choices…but don’t actually change them. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been feeling 22 for several years now. This does not, and never will, stop me from rocking out to Taylor Swift in my car.
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