Getting older freaks me out.
My metabolism isn’t what it once was, so having doughnuts for breakfast isn’t really an option. Working out is kind of a necessity, unfortunately. Spots on my skin I never really noticed before magically make themselves known, and often cause me to examine them until I’m convinced I have cancer. My back hurts if I sit too much during the day. And issues I never really cared to think about, such as health insurance, taxes, loan payments, etc., are now my problems to figure out.
And while I ponder over whether I’m getting crow’s feet, I’m enjoying getting older. This is definitely not a feeling I expected to have when I was 21, in college and thought life couldn’t get any better. Newsflash: It does! Here’s why:
1. I feel successful and accomplished in my career. When I graduated from college, I was working part-time as a reporter, hoping and praying it would turn into full-time work. It did, but not in the direction I thought. I took a full-time position as a copy editor, not a reporter. While it took months for me to feel like I knew what I was doing, I’m so glad I chose that path. It gave me skills I didn’t have before, and opened doors for me when I moved to a new city. I know there is so much more to learn, but I work hard at my job and it has paid off.
2. Brett and I make a comfortable living. I can’t say I have ever struggled to get by, but there have been times where I worried about having enough money to pay off all our bills. We still have bills, and there continue to be times I get a little worried about money. However, as we progress in our careers, we are able to live a more comfortable life. We can go out when we want to, splurge on items we couldn’t when we were in college and are able to save money for the future.
3. I can go where I want, when I want (most of the time). I do miss the days of having extended breaks (Christmas, spring break, fall break), but most of those breaks were spent at home with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I loved spending time at home. But now, we don’t have to plan around school AND work schedules, and we have a little more cash to spend on vacations. I haven’t gone to Europe yet, but hopefully someday soon!
4. I can choose who I want to spend time with and who I want in my life. I wish I always had this mentality, but when you graduate from high school with a class of 28, your friends are the people you have known since kindergarten. This is not always a bad thing; my best friend is someone I have known since elementary school. But high school is a very small pond. In college and beyond, there is an ocean of people who care about what you think and enjoy the same things as you. As an adult, I have found people who inspire me to be a better person and share my passions. I’m not a person with an overwhelming abundance of friends, but the ones I do have I cherish each day.
5. I have someone to share everything with. Marriage is seriously the best when it’s with the right person. I never really knew what I was missing until I met Brett. I had one other serious relationship before, but I have never felt for someone the way I feel for my husband. I can tell him anything, and I know he won’t judge me but will try to help me in any way possible. I have someone who wants to do all the things I enjoy (most of them, anyway), and I get to go home to my favorite person in the world each night. He encourages me to pursue my dreams and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. He still gives me butterflies, and I’m convinced that will continue to happen until I’m 95. 🙂
6. I feel like I’m becoming the person I was meant to be. There are still days where I feel like a little kid trapped in a world where I’m forced to make adult decisions. It’s terrifying, but it can also be liberating and awesome! I have learned so much about myself through college and my years post grad, and I’m proud of who I am. I have accepted that I will always worry more than necessary, that I will cry when I’m angry, that I’m extremely impatient and that I worry too much about what people think. On the other hand, I have gained so much confidence in myself and my career as a grown-up. I know there is still a long road to travel to accomplish everything I want to be in this life, but so far, I like the woman who looks back at me in the mirror.