We all do it. Reach for that Costco size 5 pound bag of chocolate chips when we feel we've had a rough couple of da-
Oh woops. Wrong blog. No I am talking about getting older. It's your BIRTHDAY!!!! Well technically today is mine and it's awesome. It is a day to CELEBRATE! Celebrate who I am and all that I have accomplished. You hear a lot of people complaining about getting older. Lamenting their birthday instead of realizing how lucky they are to have one. When I was 22 I was in a club in Rome flirting with some guy. He asked how old I was and I told him, to which he responded, "You're old." He was eighteen. What an a**hole. But in that moment I remember a sinking feeling thinking, "Oh God. This is what everyone always talks about. Nothing to look forward to after 21. They even say women peak at 18 and I'm well past that age." What I should have been thinking was, "I paid for this entire trip to Italy at 22 years old because I am a working professional and I am damn proud of that."
Screw that guy!
In my early twenties, there was a small anxious voice inside of me questioning if I was ready for the approaching age. "Have I met all the requirements one is supposed to meet when said "date" arrives?" Don't get me wrong, there is still that voice which I am 1000% sure everyone has. But with every passing year, it's like I'm adding another tool to my belt to prepare me for what's to come. Here is why getting older kicks ass:
1. You have experience:
You can't fake it. Genuine experience comes from living. So good job, if you're alive, you are on the right track! My best advice is to take as many risks as possible. Not like attempting to sky dive without a parachute, more like if you feel it in your bones to quit your day job and become a painter do it! I went to study abroad by myself at 21. I waved goodbye to my dad and sister at the gate thinking, "What the hell am I doing? I am going to be ALONE in a foreign country? Why did I do this!?" I sat next to an Italian doctor on the plane and when he heard what I was doing he said, "You have a lot of courage, you must be very proud!" And I was. Now, my absolute favorite thing to do is travel alone, and I have a lot of knowledge that makes each trip better than the next.
2. You have more confidence:
It's hard to believe you could be good at something if you've never experienced the outcome. I went on my first commercial audition when I was 17. The script was all improvised so it was the actor's job to keep it fun and interesting. I walked in holding my headshot and shaking, and was given one line to start with. Before I knew it, I couldn't stop talking and making things up. I walked out of there with a job and the belief that I was capable of achieving my goals.
3. You Know Your Body:
After YEARS of experimenting (and sometimes failing miserably) with different styles of clothes, shoes, makeup and haircuts, you know what will compliment you the best. You have your go to jeans for that date you are excited about, you know which haircut flatters your face, and what height shoe you need to take the focus off your thighs.
(EFF you ballet flats!)
4. You Know Yourself:
The wisdom never ends. Every day you are learning new things about who you are, what you are willing to fight for, and willing to shut up about. You know what you need out of your friendships, romantic relationships, careers and life in general. You aren't as afraid to ask for what you deserve. That raise? That date night? Those french fries?!? The need for approval is just not that important anymore. (Yes I want to be in bed early Friday for my Saturday morning spin class bugger off!) And the best part is you learn to just embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. That weird ass cowlick from childhood?! UGHHH EMBRACE IT! Things you used to stress yourself out about seem petty.
You always want to look your best, but at the end of the day appearance is fleeting, and the ability to make someone laugh or feel special is a much better priority.
Growin' up ain't easy. But there is so much to look forward to and hopefully you can be proud of the person you are becoming.
CHEERS TO A GREAT BIRTHDAY! (You better be eating cake)