I’ve been sitting on my bed listening to What’s My Age Again? by Blink 182 on repeat for the last hour. I keep repeating “Nobody likes you when you’re twenty three
And I’m still more amused by TV shows
What the hell is A.D.D.?
My friends say I should act my age
What’s my age again, what’s my age again?” As of 4:37 p.m. I’ll no longer be 23, so does this mean people will like me more now that I’m 24?
In all seriousness, I can’t believe I’m 24 years old. The number 24 sounds old and looks huge on paper! I read somewhere that studies show that you’ve officially hit adulthood at 24 but I don’t really know if that’s entirely true. I hate to say it, but I definitely don’t feel like an adult. I mean I’ve gotten old enough to the point where I can make my own decisions, make my own dentist appointments, pay bills on time, etc but I find myself still seeking guidance from an “adultier adult,” if that makes sense. Most of the time the “adultier adult,” is my mom, but I think most millennials are in the same boat as I am. But hey, maybe this is the year I’ll somehow feel like a REAL ADULT!
I wanted to take the time to write somewhat of a memoir celebrating and reflecting what I learned at 23. My life changed a lot at 23. I grew up in ways I never thought I would. I learned that although life is ridiculously fun, it isn’t a party 24/7 and that I must embrace adulthood for all that it’s worth.
This past year I learned the beauty of letting go. This is the first thing on my list because I didn’t really learn this lesson until recently. I learned that sometimes friendships and relationships dissolve and whether they end on a good note or a bad note and it’s okay to let go. Time passes by and people inevitably change. I lost two good friends this year, girls I thought I’d be friends with forever but we outgrew each other. It’s okay to not like who a person has become even if at one point they were really close to you. I learned to seal that chapter shut for good and toss it into my memory bank. Life goes on. As the great Buddha once said “You only lose what you cling to.” It’s time to embrace new friendships and move on.
I learned that it’s important to stay hungry and driven. From the ages of 19-22 I was completely fine with being a college dropout. I was okay with living a comfortable life and working a regular 9-5 job. It wasn’t until I turned 23 that I entered into a brief moment of panic. Life was moving forward but I had my feet rooted into the ground, and I simply wasn’t moving along with it. I was stuck, much like a rat trapped in glue. I learned the value of an education and proceeded to move forward with my studies. (My mom is probably glowing while reading this since she used to wait for me outside of my bedroom just to ask me when I planned on returning to school every single day). Although I’m the first one to say that school isn’t for everyone and that it’s okay to not go to school, I also realized that school did matter to me and that I genuinely enjoy it. I also enjoy my career more than I enjoy being “comfortable.”
I learned much to my surprise that the world does not revolve around me. I actually learned this a few years ago, but over the last couple of years I’ve really worked on it. I blame it on my only-child syndrome! When I was a kid I would keep myself up at night smiling and thinking that the world was mine and God simply created everything and everyone around me as a simulation. I also had a very active and vivid imagination as a child so you can’t really blame m. Seriously though, I grew up with many self centered qualities. I would get really upset if the people in front of me at the grocery store line were taking too long because “I really have somewhere to be. Why is everyone so annoying and so slow? Do people not realize I’m in a rush?!” And If anyone was ever late my brain would swell up in fury and I’d think “Why don’t people realize that it’s important to be on time. My time is valuable. MY. MY. MY. ME. ME.ME.” I’d get really frustrated with family and friends for not following my instructions or commands right away and I’d walk around barking orders everywhere I went. Like I said, I think it’s because I’m an only child and I rarely ever heard the word “no,” growing up. My friends would even joke that I was actually a 65 year old grumpy dictator stuck in a teenager’s body. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I learned that my time is no more valuable than anyone else’s and that in the grand scheme of things I’m really not that important to the rest of the world. I learned that life is so much better when you let go of your desire to be in control of everything and no one owes you anything!
It’s okay to be wrong and make mistakes! I don’t always have to be right. In fact, shutting up, listening, and learning from your mistakes is what life is all about! Instead of getting upset with people for correcting me, I’ve learned to smile and say “thank you.” Thanking people for taking the time to correct me just means they care.
Spending time with family and friends is important! I pride myself on never needing to be around others to have a good time. I enjoy spending time alone so much I think I could be locked away in the middle of nowhere alone and never be bored. I think my independence is one of my best qualities, but I learned that letting people in and spending time with my loved ones is just as important, if not more so than spending time alone. Life is short, spend it with people who love you!
It’s important to have hobbies. I’ve discovered that I love writing. In fact I do a lot of writing at my job, although most of it is about science and technology I love it! I created this blog as an outlet for me to write and share my thoughts, food posts, health posts, wellness posts, etc, but it’s something that I very much enjoy doing! I also really enjoy taking pictures of good food and cool places.
Not every action needs a reaction. Sometimes it’s best to just let that car that’s been tailing you for the last 3 minutes just to cut you off! Maybe they really need to get home to use the bathroom, or maybe they’ve had a really bad day and just want to get home. You don’t need to honk aggressively and flip someone off every time they drive like jerks! Not everyone is deserving of a reaction. Just smile and move on with your day.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I’ve always been terrified of failure and rejection. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities in life because I was scared I wasn’t good enough, deserving of them, or that I’d fail. I SET THOSE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ASIDE because like I said before, it’s okay to fail! I can’t imagine what life would be like if we were all perfect. Take the job that intimates you, move to a new city, ask that person out on a date that you’ve been crushing on forever, take life by the horns and live it up!
Love first, job second. Although many beg to differ and will often say “your career will never wake up one morning and decide they no longer want to be with you,” I’ve learned the importance of love and what’s important in life. Your career will not be waiting for you to get home with a smile and a nice warm bowl of soup. Your career will not be your shoulder to cry on when you feel like your world is ending. Your career won’t ask how your day was, or take you out to the movies or on a hike. Your career will never replace a person or a family. I’ve toned down my workaholic tendencies a bit to focus more on my loved ones. I think it’s important to have a healthy balance between all aspects of your life. Although my career is still top 5 most important things to me, being happy and loved surpasses that.
I learned that I actually do want to get married someday, and maybe just MAYYYBEEE have kids. Although the thought of having children anytime soon makes me sick to my stomach, not because I don’t like kids I actually think they’re super cute, but they’ve never really been for me. However this past year I’ve considered that maybe in 7-10 years having my own family is a good idea.
I also learned that I can not drink alcohol unless I plan on being bedridden the next two days. I can no longer stuff my face with food all day long without gaining any weight, a good credit score gets me really pumped, keeping a planner is a must, you can’t miss out on Yankee Candle’s semi-annual sale, sleeping-in on the weekends is a complete waste of time, staying up past 10:30 on a work night is a horrible idea, and cleaning is actually really therapeutic.
I’ve learned a lot more this past year, but those are the most important to me. I’m so proud of the woman I’ve become and I hope that 24 is just as good, if not better than 23. I also hope that this year is full of happiness, adventure, new experiences, more independence, and new friends!
Goodbye Jordan, Hello Kobe!