I've Been 23 For a Really, Really Long Time

My 24th birthday is on Thursday (not too late to order a gift….rush order, duh) and in some ways this scares the crap out of me because 24 sounds really old. I’ll be in my mid-twenties. That is serious business. I’m almost at the age where you hate birthdays because you’re getting old and whatnot. Soon I’ll be at the point where you celebrate the same birthday year after year because you don’t want to admit how old you are. But at the same time, I also feel like I’ve been 23 for forever and a day. It’s strange. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.

As I was contemplating the aging process, I stumbled across this article called 25 Things I’ve Learned in My 20s. Some of them are so incredibly true. Some not so much (for me anyway).

For example:

-You’ll question every decision you make and never feel completely certain that you made the right choice. It’s pointless to wonder though. You’re here now so you might as well make it be the right decision. Yep. Yes. Definitely.

-You’re going to lose touch with friends. This one is hitting me particularly hard right about now. In the year right after graduation I found that I was Skyping with almost all of my close friends from school on a weekly basis. I have no idea how I did this. I think because I had zero friends in my current life and also zero hobbies so I had a lotttt of time on my hands. Probably not healthy, but it was good for college friendships. Now I have a few friends in the area, and have picked up some hobbies. My friends are doing the same, so it’s definitely harder to find time to catch up. But beyond that, after two years you start to grow apart. Without the common bond of school, sometimes you find that there just isn’t much connecting you anymore. Or maybe you’re going down different paths in life and don’t relate to each other as well as you used to. Whatever the reason, it happens and it’s normal. But it can be hard to deal with.

– You’ll know how to make twenty dollars last an entire week because you spent almost all of your paycheck on groceries at Whole Foods and drunk cab rides. This lesson in frugality will serve you well. Unfortunately I’ve been there done that, and we don’t even have a Whole Foods near me. My goal for year 24 of life is to become better at money management. Saving money is fun, kids.

The list goes on, some I wholeheartedly agree with and some not as much.

I’ve come to a few realizations of my own as I approach 24. For one thing, I’ve realized you don’t need other people’s approval to make your own choices. This has been a big discovery for me. In the end, it doesn’t matter if your sister or mom or best friend thinks you’re an idiot. As long as you’re comfortable with your choice and can stand behind it, go for it. You do you. I’ve learned that you will never feel as old as you thought you would when you were younger. When I was a kid, 23 sounded ancient. I thought I’d be married and have kids by now. Yet at this point in my life I can’t even commit to dog ownership. It’s totally fine. I’ve learned that you don’t have to have everything figured out. Just go with it and see what happens along the way.

Okay, time to go listen to Blink 182’s “What’s My Age” on repeat before the lyrics “nobody loves you when you’re 23” is no longer relevant to my current age and I feel sad and elderly.

What have you learned as you get older? Anything you wish you could tell your younger self?

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