1. You don’t binge drink as much. If you do you limit it to once a week. It doesn’t even take a lot for me to resist drinking during the week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll slug back a glass of wine or two, but I cut it off. Not trying to feel like someone right hooked me in the face the following day.
2. Work is different. Now that I manage someone I have to watch my cursing, gossipping and overall I have to be a good influence. Because I’m less fun, I feel like I’ve been invited to less happy hours. This is probably contributes to number 1.
3. I don’t buy $400 dresses/shoes/bags that I can’t afford. This is actually true – I don’t do it anymore. My closet is FULL of clothing that I couldn’t afford at point of purchase. I gave up balanced meals in order to be well-dressed. It was worth it, but I’m much more concerned with my overall health now so it just doesn’t happen. I still go into stores and try everything on but quickly talk myself out of any purchase before I even take the dress off.
4. I have finally admitted to myself that I will never be a famous actress. While I never pursued this career and Diane Lane’s career didn’t really take off until 35, I know it’s not happening for me. I think this realization will help me chase my true dream of having and expensive dress/coffee shop.
5. I’ve been through enough to know better about relationships. When I attempt to impart this advice on my younger sisters/friends I’m often greeted with a blank stare…a blank stare that graced my face only a few years back. I’m not saying I’m a relationship expert by ANY means, but I’ve been through a lot I KNOW BETTER. Advice typically ignored includes but is not limited to:
– Stop caring so much.
– Do you even like him?
– Don’t text him that.
– Don’t go through his phone. If you do, don’t tell him about it.
– Stop caring so much.
– If he likes you, you will know. I promise.
– If he doesn’t like you, keep walking sister.
– Peace at any price is too much.
6. You start to think certain clothing looks “inappropriate” on you for your age. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? I feel like it was only yesterday when the phrase “too short” was not in my wheelhouse. I’m pretty sure this happened over night because there are things I wore to work only a summer ago that I wouldn’t even wear out of my apt this summer.
7. You don’t give as many people the benefit of the doubt. It’s not straight up cynicism and you need to be careful about judgement but it’s hard not to put people you meet in categories of people you’ve encountered over the years. I’m trying to work on this because I’ve been surprised by a few people recently that I unfairly put in the wrong bucket.
8. Everyone wants to know when you’re getting married but don’t fret, they’re “not worried about you”. This phrase isn’t comforting. It’s not offensive because I’m not worried myself, but it is unsettling that people think they HAVE to say it to you. Relax, everyone. I got this.
9. Holidays become more about your nieces, nephews and in-laws rather than your brothers and sisters. It is a rare occasion when all of my adult siblings are together and the aforementioned parties are to blame. Love them dearly, just miss my buddies sometimes.
10. You know better. The ignorance of youth keeps us safe and invincible and the knowledge that comes with age leaves us exposed to the elements feeling vulnerable and paranoid. I drive the speed limit, take vitamins, watch what I eat, take the recommended dose and generally stay away from people that have trouble written across their foreheads. While it sounds boring, it also keeps me safe…somehow.
Since the world didn’t end today it looks like I’ve got at least 29 more years to reflect on how age changes how we think and feel and I’m really looking forward to it.