I have a secret to confess: I love getting older, and I hope to keep doing it as long as possible.
1. "Picking up on BS is much easier. I have a much easier time picking up on other people's inconsistencies, almost-true stories, and self-perpetuated drama. Because of it, I can stay out of other people's drama. Life so far is a lot more peaceful."
3. "I am a different person at 35 than at 25, but the worst thing is that I didn't know that I would become different, wiser, and more confident. I thought at 25 that my personality was fixed and that I peaked. I often tell my younger friends about the change that will come, but they don't believe me, and I guess that it is something you need to see for yourself. I don't reminisce about my 20s; I think you become YOU after your 30s, and that's where your life begins."
4. "I have never felt more comfortable in my skin! I just turned 31, and in the last several months, I have felt so much more comfortable with my body. One of the main things that just clicked in my brain was saying to myself, 'Do I care if another person has chubby arms and is wearing a tank top? No, I do not!' I have been wearing tank tops all summer, and it has been so freeing.
5. "You realize nobody knows anything. It makes you more open minded and open to learning and changing without needing to fit any mold. When I was younger, I thought I knew everything. Recognizing I know nothing, even with years of experience, relieves the pressure to be perfect."
6. "I think I’m more attractive than I ever used to feel. Am I thinner? Nope. Am I more fit? Ha! Am I wrinklier and saggier and grayer? Yup. Am I hotter? HELL YES."
7. "I can mentor and open doors for younger or less-experienced folks in my field of work, more confidently push back against gatekeepers without fear of retaliation, and more effectively keep my imposter syndrome at bay. I’m better equipped to help shift norms and create space for voices historically marginalized in this space. No more ladder kicking. Living my feminist values."
8. "When I was younger (like my early- to mid-20s), I felt like I always had to prove myself and go above and beyond in everything I did. Now that I’m in my early 30s, I’ve learned that it’s not worth it. No one is going to remember you went above and beyond working 13 hours a day in your office! I’ve learned to take things much easier and enjoy life. You should always take care of yourself first."
9. "The older you get, the less you care about what people think. It sounds simple and cliché, but it is so liberating. I didn’t start getting tattooed and pierced and dressing my flavor of sexy until my mid-30s, and I’ve never felt more amazing. IDGAF if you think I’m 'too old' to look and dress the way I do. The less you worry, the more comfortable you are. I finally met my forever people once I hit this stage."
10. "I’ve learned to say 'no' more often when I don’t want to do something or feel like it doesn’t benefit me, because I deserve to enjoy the second half of my life. I also feel less pressure to have lots of friends because people my age tend not to have as many friends because they’re too busy. That was an insecurity of mine in my younger years — I always felt like an outcast because I had very few friends and was socially awkward. Now, I am happy with having one close friend. I don’t have the energy for more."
11. "The wisdom to sort out what actually matters in this experience called 'life' from all the bullshit I was programmed to think mattered when I was in my formative years — primarily my 20s. For example: the quality of my relationships with others. I've learned that the sincerity of our communication is far more important than the concept of always being 'right' and/or 'winning.'"
12. "Really cherishing the relationships I have with my pets. At this age, I’ve had dogs that have lived their entire lives with me alone as an owner. Being old enough now to understand the extreme joy and sadness of that cycle makes me want to give my dogs the best life possible. You only get a short time to be owned by them, but it’s a privilege."
13. "Genuinely not giving a fuck about being single or feeling like I need to date. It's so freeing."
14. "I was so anxious in my 20s about getting older and growing closer to turning 30. Then, when I finally turned 30, it felt like a huge relief. I had put so much pressure on 'enjoying my youth' that all I did was dread the passage of every year. Now that my youth is supposedly gone, I feel free!
"I finally realized that the pressures put on young women specifically are total bullshit and never served my interests. Now, I feel like I can be comfortable and confident in who I am, and how I live my life is up to me. Embrace aging! Every passing year brings more wisdom and knowledge."
15. "I turned 30 this year. I noticed that when I'm speaking to someone in their early 20s, they are trying so hard to convince themselves that they have everything sorted and their life is all on track. They don't realize how much things aren't going to go to plan. The best thing about having been through all that is knowing how much you NEED your life to not go to plan to find who you really are."
16. "Gray hair, honestly. I'm graying at the temples and have long hair, so it's like a sparkly swish through my hair, and I'm obsessed with it."
17. "I’ve learned better how to prioritize what to stress over. I’m predisposed to stress out over a LOT. But whereas in my teens, it would be everything, pushing 40, I now go, ‘Will this still likely be important to me in a week, a month, or a year?’ Somehow, going, ‘In a week, this presentation/event/meeting will mean sausage to me’ is quite calming, and I find I can focus on the longer term things: relationships, money, well-being."
18. "I’m in my 50s (52). I’m more aware that I’m not going to be here forever, and that makes me really grateful for things I used to take for granted like my good health, spending an afternoon with my kids (they’re grown and busy), even just walking my dog. I think part of the gift of aging is the ability to really recognize the beauty of the present.
"I spent years working, worrying, always grinding, feeling guilty if I wasn’t earning money or taking care of someone else. They were good productive years.
"But I’ve only got 25 or 30 left, and who knows how long I’ll be in good health. This makes me mindful of who and what gets my time and energy. I’m fully present."
19. "Something great I've found about getting older is that, with 41 years behind me, I know myself really well now. I know what motivates me, what doesn't, what my real strengths are, and where I need improvement. I always want to learn and try new things, but I'm not trying to force myself into boxes I just don't fit into anymore."
20. "I work in customer service, and people actually listen to what I say now and give me a lot less hassle than when I was younger and they thought they could bully me into doing what they wanted."
21. "I can relate to my parents more as an adult. My relationship with my dad especially improved so much as I got older. He passed recently, and I’m very grateful that I was able to know him as an adult."
22. "Straight up, I love that I can leave a party at 8 p.m., and none of the other 30-somethings will bat an eye. Most of them would probably join me."
23. "Making friends as an adult is harder for sure, but the friends you make are so much better. When you’re a kid or even in college, your friends are often made situationally. Once you’re out of that situation and not seeing that person every day, you lose touch and realize you were never really true friends but friends of convenience.
"As an adult, it actually takes work and effort to maintain friendships, which makes it easier to only be friends with people you genuinely like and want to spend time with. If someone kinda sucks, they’re not worth the effort that it takes, you know?"
24. "I'm more financially stable. I'm not doing amazing or anything like that, but I'm also not counting out nickels and dimes for gas money anymore.
"Also, I can cook and bake a lot better than I did when I was in my early 20s. Especially bake. And I'm thrilled to know that my future-self will be EVEN BETTER at cooking and baking."