I loved college. I grabbed a hold of that experience, held on and wrung out every bit of fun that was possible for years – including summer sessions. Even better than college was AFTER college. After a year of living for the weekend (and going back to college) on a small island, I spent 5 years living in Maine’s largest city, being a bar district regular, and reigning as the Princess of Portland.
I physically moved on. I ended up living in a couple large cities, and I’ve had a fun time in my 30s. I didn’t rip it up like the 20s, but it was pretty great. Sure, my alcohol tolerance isn’t what it was, my feet couldn’t take a whole night of dancing, and I called a cab instead of walking home. My husband has told me, repeatedly, that I’m living in the past, too obsessed with college and my 20s.
I admit, I still keep in touch with friends I’ve had from those times. We have more than enough #tbt dirt on each other. Unfortunately we’ve also bonded over the loss of some of our mutual friends – taken from us much too young. I go home usually once a year to see my parents. My trips end up including visits with friends and my favorite places. I like to watch what some people think of as “teen” shows. But, honestly, either I watch because I like the actors playing the parents, or it’s about vampires.
It doesn’t hurt that I still can pass for being in my 20s. I love getting carded. I feel better than I did when I was in my 20s. I’ve mastered dressing better and I’ve rehabbed the mistakes I made in over plucking my eyebrows. I have some really awesome jewelry now including 3 wedding rings.
After a conversation on Twitter with a friend from college I came to the realization that without seeing it happen – I grew up. Despite my husband’s protests, my love of 90s music, and the fact that I get off the airplane in Portland and go straight to Margaritas – I’m a grown up and I’m okay with it.
I don’t miss the craziness and uncertainty of that time in my life. I’m glad I no longer am drawn to drama. I’m happy with who I am. I like things about myself, even when I’m striving to improve them. I have advice to offer women younger than me, because there is a lot of thing I wish I had know when I was in that spot. I don’t envy the young anymore, I just want to see them have an awesome life and enjoy themselves as much as I do.
It doesn’t bother me that my doctor, hair stylist and boss are younger than me. I don’t view age as a peg of authority anymore, I now see it as expertise and accomplishment – and we aren’t all going to have the same at any age.
I looked up to women my current age when I was in my 20s as surrogate big sisters and I hope others do the same with me now. But I dreaded getting older and growing up even if it made me like those women. I didn’t want to get boring!
I’m not boring. I love my life and every experience I’ve had. I’m looking forward to the ones I’m going to have. I might end up with gray hairs and some wrinkles, but it’s going to be okay when it happens.