Indisputable Signs You're Getting Old
I can't with "adulting." I just don't like the term. I'm not sure why I have such a visceral reaction to it — perhaps it's the kitschiness of the word. How the "ing" is supposed to make it seem quirky and cute, resulting in making the sayer of the word sound young and immature. Regardless, I'd rather just simply state that getting older is hard. My 29th birthday is right around the corner (literally, it's in about a week and a half), and I'm feeling a lot of different things about going in to the last year of my 20s. Namely, being terrified but equally as relieved that I've almost made it through the worst/weirdest decade of a person's life. That said, I was an early bloomer in exhibiting behaviors older than my age. Emotionally and mentally, not so much. I still cry at the drop of a hat because it's how I've always expressed myself. I'm a crier. But when it comes to interests and how I like to spend my time, I noticed all that taking a turn for the older around my mid-20s and now it's just glaringly apparent that, well, I'm getting old.
To me, the following are all indisputable signs that you're getting older and it's time to just throw your arms wide open and embrace it in a hug that goes on a little too long and makes both hugging parties feel a little awkward.
You forgot what it is to be a night owl.
There was a time in your life not too long ago, that going to bed before midnight was child's play. You considered a good night's sleep a solid five hours. You could run on fumes. It wasn't always ideal, but you powered through because you were young, fun, and had a seemingly never-ending stockpile of energy. Staying up late to do basically nothing was a privilege you felt you need to capitalize on. Now, as you lay in bed with your lights off for the night by 10, you wonder how you ever survived on that schedule? Seven hours of sleep is on the low-end of the scale. Typically, you're aiming for somewhere between 8-9 (which rarely happens, but what a dream!). A sleep like that makes you feel as though you can conquer the world. The twilight hours of binging on Netflix shows or aimlessly scrolling through your social media feeds in hopes of finding something worthwhile seem so wasted. So young. So fruitless. You want to be in bed, reading a book or filing your nails no later than 9:30 or 10, and asleep by 10 or 10:30. And that, to you, is what a perfect weeknight looks like.
Your hangover lastS 2 days.
"OMG I FEEL LIKE SHIT LOL," younger you used to text to your woes the morning after a night out. "I'm dead, dude. What the fuck happened last night?" It was all a joke back then. Drinking copious amounts of booze meant a night of low-level debauchery, maybe some late night drunk eats, and at most, a soft purr of a headache the next morning that could be instantly cured with Advil, more alcohol, and a small mountain of food laden with grease. Now? You have to commit to being hungover. Like, you have to mentally prepare yourself WEEKS in advance for a night out that will most definitely end in next-day agony. Dealing with a 24-48 hour hangover is something that requires careful planning and precision, and in-advance acceptance of knowing what you're in for. Sure, you could get a wild hair and just go for it. Act like 25-year-old you, drinking all the drinks and saying "yes" to shots you know you shouldn't take. No one's stopping you. But don't be surprised when all the other adult-like, responsible plans you had for the weekend are shit upon by your inability to function as a whole human being after revisiting this collegiate behavior. In short, the late-20s to early-30s hangover isn't worth it. Once every few months, maybe. Or maybe just a few times a year. Or maybe once a year in which you burn over 500 calories from dancing non-stop for two hours at a bar on St. Patty's day, end up throwing up in a bar's bathroom for the first time in your entire social career, and leave not just your credit card but entire wallet at vomit-bar (that may or not be a direct anecdote from my past weekend :D). The morning after all that looks something like this:
YOU STOP BLAMING YOUR EXTRA WEIGHT ON JUST BEING YOUNG AND FUN
This is probably the most appalling realization of getting older. Lavish brunches dripping in fried chicken, waffles, and mimosas, late night pizza deliveries, hilarious drive-thru stories at the local watering holes (Whataburger or Taco Bell), all suddenly cling to your body for dear life. All of the wonderful, so-good-but-so-bad-for-you meals you've treated yourself to for years turn on you in a nasty way. For a while, you guys had an understanding of what this relationship was. Nothing serious, just having fun. You would meet up at all times of the day. You weren't trying to sneak around. You even posted things about each other. You weren't ashamed of this courtship. You figured everyone was on the same page: that this wasn't going to be an on-going thing. That, at the end of each rendezvous, you'd part ways and go back to feeling normal and thin and start over the next weekend. It was casual. But food turned on you. It became a stage-5 clinger, wanting to hang around. You woke up — it was there. You tried on clothes — it was there. You hopped on the scale — it was there. You realize, FUCK. I'M OLD. Suddenly, you're an advocate for the "It's not a diet; it's a lifestyle" way of life. You buy a Spiralizer (seriously buy one though), train your tastebuds to halfway enjoy the taste of raw zoodles over angel hair pasta, and actually start saying no to the onslaught of cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and general sugarsex food that seems to live in every corner of your office. Congratulations — you're getting older.
Staying in on weekend nightS is PREFERABLE
Just because you're getting crotchety and more easily irritable doesn't mean you don't love your friends and being around them. In fact, you probably cherish them that much more because, in your old age, you're realizing how badly the majority of human beings suck. #nonewfriends. But, something weird happens. Your FOMO disappears. That acronym that plagued you throughout your 20s suddenly drops off. You don't... CARE anymore. You don't really give a shit if you're missing out or what everyone else is up to. I mean, you do to an extent. You hope the friends you care about are out there having fun if that's their prerogative, but it in no way affects your mood that way it used to. A few years ago, you might've sat on your couch on a Friday night, feeling impossibly sorry for your planless evening, emotionally cutting yourself by skimming through Instagram to see how much "fun" everyone else was having. Now? Give you a couch, a worn-in pair of sweatpants, a blanket, your dog, a delicious order-in or homemade meal, some wine (or maybe just some water if you're being extra old), and FIRE UP THAT NETFLIX, SON. Life is busy and stressful and it only gets more so the older you become. So you learn to love quiet weekend nights. Weekends are sacred, and choosing to waste them by being out of commission because of a hard night of partying is just not something you're into anymore. You've got too much to do; to many little errands you've been planning to CRUSH this weekend. So you're gonna do you, let others do them, and meet them somewhere in the middle if you feel like it.
Because I had next to no control over my verbosity on this post, I'm going to revisit this topic soon with more indisputable signs of getting older. Right after I get my car washed, have a solid grocery shop, get my oil changed, and meal prep.