Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 Reasons Getting Older Rules

nanny and me dancing

Hindsight really is 20/20, isn’t it? The older I get the more I realize this, and sometimes I think I may be a little bit off the grid in the fact that I actually like getting older! Weird, I know, but I find a lot of comfort in all of the good that comes with every new year added to my age. I’m currently just 30 (perhaps I should see how I feel at 60), but from my vantage point, getting older isn’t so bad.

The other day I had a long discussion with one of my girlfriends on the other side of the aging fence, and she asked me what exactly was so great about getting older. Well, Jessica (and all of you), here you go:

1. Things you regret now only seem part of the bigger picture.

When I was younger I was quite the little firecracker. I did well in school, was incredibly involved in sports and student government, but I was also a little out of control at times (bless my poor parents). I look back on most of my memories fondly; I had so much fun and no one could say I didn’t enjoy those years. But I also look back on some of those times and feel a little bummed out about the choices I made. I used to get legitimately upset thinking back to “mistakes,” some bad memories with not-so-good people, and it would eat me up inside. As the years have gone on though, I’ve come to realize that all of it is part of the story of me, just a different kind of chapter. Everything I’ve been through in my life has gotten me to where I am, and I love the place I’m at, so I’m thankful in a way. I’ve learned to appreciate all of it – the good, the bad, and for me, a part of getting older has been accepting and believing that my past doesn’t have to define me in any way, but that I am able to define it by the choices I make now. Positivity in the present can cause negativity in the past to become simply a bump in the road to where you end up.

2. Knowing who you are.

At 30, I still can’t say that I entirely know who I am, but I’m well on my way. I spent a good portion of my adolescent years like any other teenager- trying to figure out who I was, and from my experience, some never get that chance. I’m thankful I was able to make mistakes and grow, and now as I approach my thirties I’m beginning to see myself more for who I really am, and it’s pretty great. I’m not sure if anyone will ever have it all figured out, but being on the path to self-discovery, which leads to self-acceptance, is right where I want to be. Plus, the more you know about yourself, the more you can figure out what you want out of life, and then it’s easiest to follow your own heart and happiness to get to wherever you want to be.

3. Never having to do “that” again.

“That” is different for everyone. For some, it’s junior high. For others, it’s enduring living at home with parents, staying in the same town you grew up in, or maybe even dating. When you get to that point where you find whatever it is you’ve been looking for, it’s almost like the universe exhales right along with you. Perhaps you’ve finally found happiness in your career and you no longer have to job-hop, or maybe you finally live on your own, away from messy roommates, or even away from obsessively clean roommates. Maybe you’ve finally escaped high school and the thought of never, ever having to go back brings around a huge ticker tape parade in your mind. Whatever your “that” is, it’s a great feeling to have gotten a little older, a little wiser, and knowing you never have to do “that” again.

4. Understanding that nothing is forever, which in turn makes the “now” that much sweeter.

It’s morbid, but it’s true; we all die. And the older we get, the more we realize this. I’ve lost a lot of special people in my world, and it never gets easier, but it does bring waves of clarity to my own life. It’s scary when you have those moments of “I’m not invincible- nothing is forever,” and sometimes it’s enough to make me cry…but those moments are beyond important because they remind us to never, ever take a breath for granted.

5. Realizing that being too cool, is so not cool.

I feel like in my life I have wasted way too much time not doing this or that because of how it looked. Oh, my favorite song just came on? I have an urge to dance a little, but I won’t, because people may think I’m weird. UM HELLO younger self, who cares?! Really. The older I get the less I care, and now, I actually feel bad for all the too-cool people of the world. So what if I want to laugh loud, smile big, dance around to Bruce Springsteen, and find it way too boring to just quietly tap my foot at a show? I’m going to enjoy all these fun moments in life without regard for anyone who wants to rain on my parade. If only my junior high self would have learned this lesson, I could have had a lot more fun just being me than trying to be the cool kid. But at least I can be the coolest un-cool kid now, and to me, that’s pretty cool.


*This one of the many pieces I'll be re-sharing here over the next year. This originally published on Hello Giggles, but since I am not writing for them anymore, it's important to me to have all of my writing in one place. If this is the second time you've seen this, I hope you didn't mind too much! Thank you for reading!

36 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100 %.....I'm 30 next year and am thrilled with it! I feel comfortable within myself, I know who I am, I know who I'm not, I care about what people think ALOT less (I definitely think motherhood contributes to this). I look forward to the future and don't dwell on the past anymore.....getting older is all sorts of AWESOME : ) Thanks for sharing this!

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  2. Thank you so much for this! This is super timely for me, as I had a realization the other day that one year from now I will be thirty, and almost hyperventilated. My life right now is really not where I thought it would be when I was this age, but at the same time I have experienced so much it makes me feel like I must actually be older!

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  3. Totally agree. If I start to freak about getting old I just remind myself that I could never have done the things I've done and made those memories without the passage of time. It helps.

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  4. What a lovely post. I am continuously worried about getting older and feel things need to happen, be done before I turn 30 next year. You've really made me feel better about things! Thank you!

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  5. I completely agree! I just went out for my bachelorette party and my friends & I sat there commenting on how great it was to never have to get into the dating scene again. Haha.

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  6. right before my 25th birthday, i had a mini quarter life crisis. i don't know what it was, but 25 seemed so....old. now at 28, i look back at that and laugh. it was only three years ago, but i have gotten to the mindset where i enjoy getting older as well.

    also, in that wedding picture you just SO MUCH like pictures of your mom that you've posted. :)

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  7. i love this post. i think #4 is something i have to remind myself constantly, whether it's in the rough times or the good times. non-attachment, it's just so important. x

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  8. Love it! I can't wait for the universe to exhale on my behalf! :)

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  9. I'm only in my early 20s, so this isn't entirely applicable to me, if at all, but I just wanted to thank you for this piece. I've been struggling a lot recently with the idea of growing up and becoming completely responsible for myself and my future and fearing that things will not be okay and that I won't manage to make things work, and it's just good to know that later on in life, that just seems like silly talk. Number 1 particularly spoke to me - in the grand scheme of things, a few setbacks here and there when I'm 21 really won't matter, will they?

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  10. I think that your long posts like this are my favorite. Seriously all the things I've wondered about for the future you've touched on. You have made me so excited to start my life with the love of my life. All the shit we've gone through, all the "that", shapes you to who you are now. I wouldn't be the person I am if I didn't go through all the experiences I did. You make me excited for the future. I can't wait to grow even more as a woman :)

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  11. I do feel like I know myself and I feel more comfortable with myself as I am aging. Like I would be that person that just randomly dances OR I sing silly songs to Judah all the time and Scott told me that before we were married that he would catch me singing silly songs about everything and I would stop because I thought someone would hear me and judge. But now....I don't care they make me happy and they make Judah happy. So I'll sing to him how he stinks like a stink a wink when he has a dirty diaper or I will sing to him while I am unbuckling him out of his carseat and people are watching :-)

    Also I think when you are older you choose your friends better. You keep those around who are invested in you like you are invested in them. You keep the good eggs and get rid of the bad. You know that you are valued more than having a bad relationship that would bring you down.

    Love your sweet posts my friend
    xo

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  12. If I had the choice to go back to my younger years, I wouldn't. I like where I am now. While I still have some insecurities, I have gained a lot more confidence in the woman I have become. You don't try to be accepted as much you did when you're younger. You learn to accept your worth and you value the people who truly accept you as you are and ditch the ones who don't. It gets easier to let go of the things (or people) that are negative influences in your life.

    This is a wonderful post!

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  13. I am 32 and so far I love my thirties so much better than my twenties. Sure, there is a lot less partying and a lot more "grown-up" stuff, but I feel much more grounded, in control of my life and overall just happy to be where I am.
    As someone that spent her teenage years being a little to restrained, I can definitely say that I wish I would have danced (or sang!) to my favorite songs a little more back then. Making up for it now, though :)

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  14. I have so much love for this post. Especially number 5... I'm pretty sure I'd have the most fun if I re-lived my teenage life with my current mindset. A lot more dancing and a lot less picking my nails in a corner WANTING to dance. Ah, hindsight. Thanks for a lovely read! :)

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  15. I completely agree. I'm about to turn 30, and, frankly, I'm kind of excited, for a lot of the same reasons you posted. Thank you for this, it really struck a chord with me.

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  16. Great advice! Thanks for your words of wisdom, all of them are so true! You should live life to the full while you can and not worry about what other people think. Sometimes its hard though but just need to be confident enough to let go.
    Lianne :)
    rubyrubyslippers.blogspot.com

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  17. I agree with you so much! Great words. :) Though I had a lot of fun and did some crazy things in my early/mid 20's, I'd never go back!
    Now at 31, (MY personal experience) I feel things are just getting better! There's much more clarity it seems. Like you, I'm getting to know myself even better everyday. This ranges from interests, my design/art, my body, my food choices, my path, and so on. You really do stop trying to be the too cool kid (or not cool kid) and all that bull one probably focuses on to much in their 20's. It's becomes more about being true to oneself....and coming from the heart. Though that was there before, it seems more pronounced after 30 - just being a better self. (Of course this is just my personal view/experience)
    :)

    Thanks for sharing this!!

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  18. So inspiring!! You've been given a gift to write things people want/need to hear. We should all practice being the uncool kid, who actually is pretty darn cool :)

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

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  19. I love this! We all need to remember this, but especially us women. We fear aging so much when it really is a beautiful thing!

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  20. I have always heard that 30 is a great age, that moment you begin to really understand yourself and become more comfortable in your own skin. That is 8 years away for me. I'm young and fresh out of college and I'm back at square one - living with my family back in my hometown (which is "that" thing for me ;) ) I think I'm going crazy at the stage in my life - no direction, no job, single. It has been stressing me out. Somewhat, I believe I'm trying to hurry past this moment in my life to get to the next thing - grow up and have a stable, happy life. But I recently realized that this moment of my life is crucial and sacred, no matter how much I hate my situation. So I must make the best of it! I'm young, and I don't want to regret anything when I'm older!

    Thank you for this post, it relates so much to my life at this present moment and shedding some light :)

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  21. what great great advice! i need to take a lot of that to heart:) thanks for the gentle reminder!

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  22. I'm 20 and I will try and keep #5 in mind :) great post, thank you

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  23. Love this post! Thanks for sharing this! I turn 30 this year, and I've been freaking out a little bit about it, but this reminds me to prioritize the right things and not worry about the little stuff. :)

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  24. This is written so beautifully. Although I'm only 22, a lot of this really speaks to me and is a great lesson to keep in mind. Thanks for the wise words!

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  25. Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing.

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  26. I couldn't agree with you more. I turn 30 this year and I am actually strangely excited to do so. It seems the older I get the more I love my life and who I am.

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  27. I turned 33 this year....and if you ask me I think the 30's are the best years of my life! I think in your 20's we spend our years, learning, finding a man, partying, moving from apartment to apartment, working a crappy job, and never having money.

    It's peaceful these days now that most of us have grown up a little, graduated from college, have careers, a house, a husband, money to spend...etc.

    I'm just glad I still look like i'm 21. haha...the whole aging thing scares me. ;)

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  28. I 100% agree. People complain about getting older a lot - I disagree. Things have definitely gotten better as time has gone on. Finally having money to do things, being able to be out of the house, learning what things I really like and really don't like - it's all been great. #5 took a little too long to learn - and I still think I have a ways to go. I think the true test of it will be singing in public. Never having to do *that* again was college, I think I just chose the wrong school. People have started dying recently - they seem to have all waited until I got out of college, but this is a new phase in my life that I'm trying to accept and learn from and cherish every moment - we'll see how this goes. And as for the regrets seem like a bump in the road, I like the way that sounds. Sorry to be rambling, I guess you got me thinking. Happy Friday!

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  29. This is just kismet. Here I am 3 days from turning 30, writing a blog post about it, and within a google search on the topic I found this post! More and more reasons I just adore you and your blog!!!

    Strive to Thrive,
    Nic

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  30. I really have to say I agree with you so much. I will be turning 31 this June 2013 and when I approached 30 I had the same feeling for a minute as your friend did. Than I snapped out of it. I feel more mature and more sure of myself once I turned 30. The fear that I thought I would have ongoing was almost non existence. I just feel better about the person I have become. My experiences good and bad have taught me a lot and I really feel good.

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