Candace Ganger
April 07, 2015 5:30 am

We’re typically encouraged to fight the signs of aging. Color your hair to look younger, slather on cream to hide your laugh lines, lie about your age even though it’s just the number of days you’ve made everyone’s life brighter. But what if we stopped dreading aging and started to embrace the awesome changes that happen as we mature? There are so many benefits to getting a little older, and a little wiser.

Getting over your adolescent anxieties and moving into your grown-up years like a boss is the best thing that can happen to you. Here’s why:

1) You stop caring what everyone thinks about you.

This isn’t to say you don’t care about people, but their opinions don’t run your life anymore. Remember in those younger years when people’s thoughts about your clothes, hair, EVERYTHING, pretty much decided how you’d feel on any particular day? Not anymore. With age comes the “brush it off” attitude and it rules.

2) No more stressing over the little things.

Life is full of so. much. stress. Bills, work, you forgot to tell the cat you had a baby. But at some divine point, things that totally bummed you out years prior don’t seem like such a big deal anymore. It’s a glorious feeling to know that when your toast gets burnt (literally and figuratively), it’s not the end of the world. Just get a new piece of bread and move on. No biggers.

3) Your friendship circle has more meaning.

Gone are the days of insignificant acquaintances because ain’t nobody got time for that. You need people who will be there, not flake. Unfortunately, this is something I’ve learned from years of people-pleasing and it was exhausting. There will come a time you’ll look around and realize you don’t need 70 faces you kind of know that might answer if you call and probably won’t break plans. You’re ready for the trusted few that get you. Totally and completely.

4) Your expectations become more reasonable.

In my early twenties, my bar was set unreasonably high when it came to things like relationships and, well, life in general. In the end, I was left disappointed and it wasn’t good for me or anyone else. These days, I know where to place the bar: somewhere reasonable. That way, if something bad happens, it’s not a total bummer, but if something good happens it’s seriously THE BEST NEWS EVER. A win, win, really.

5) That confidence, tho.

Knowing who you are and what you rationally expect from yourself and others is life-changing. You own your style, you know what you like and dislike, you don’t apologize for your decisions, and if you do apologize it’s no big deal—because recognizing your mistakes isn’t a bad thing, but rather a reflection of your maturity. You can pick your head up and move on, if something doesn’t work out. And if something does work out, it’s because you facilitated it by your badass self.

6) Priorities are set in stone.

Listen up. There’s no way I’m sacrificing New Girl Tuesday, where I sit in my robe and eat peanut butter yogurt (with extra dark chocolate chips; because I’ve earned it) after a relaxing, lavender-infused bath. NO. WAY. It doesn’t matter if Ed Sheeran drops in for a surprise serenade, either, I’m busy now, so, maybe tomorrow, Ed.

7) You have a voice.

I’m one of those quiet talkers. You know the kind. No one hears me. Ever. I think this is why I turned to writing, so, at least people can read my thoughts. But this isn’t the kind of voice I’m talking about. With age comes something beautiful: self-assuredness. The things you believe in are clearer than ever and whether you’re open about them or not, you’re not easily swayed by opposing voices like you could have been years ago. You’ve realized your opinion matters. Your voice matters. And you know how and when to use it.

8) You time is the best time.

Remember that thing about priorities? Making time for yourself isn’t something you try to carve out of the busy schedule; it’s something you have to make time for. And maybe in earlier years, spending so much time alone seemed lonely or pointless. But now? Majorly important. Whether it’s yoga or a hot bath before your fave show, doing these things is necessary, not optional.

9) Your perspective on life has changed in a majorly good way.

The thing about life is that there are ups and downs—but it’s how you react to those rattling moments that matter most. Being a writer, I’ve experienced a lot of rejection and when I was still a newb, it really infected the belief in myself. Over time, I learned to dust off my ego and move on. It didn’t just change the way I saw myself, it changed the way I viewed life. And all for the better.

Getting older doesn’t have to be the worst. In fact, it’s pretty great. Aside from the fact you’re wiser from lessons learned (hopefully), your awesome-meter is off the charts. So forget “the good old days,” and look ahead, my friends. The good times are right in front of you.

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