I thought we’d try a new sort of topic today. A little bit of beauty, a hint of lifestyle but all about…getting older and growing up. This has nothing to do with expensive anti-wrinkle creams and more frequent trips the doctor. I mean, I’m only 26…but no matter how old we are, we’re going to have to face the facts some day. So here’s a look at what aging means for a 20-something.
I wanted to write about this for a while but I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I think it all really began with realizing the amount of gray hairs I have (thanks mom and dad). They really aren’t stopping any time soon, and they’ve now taken over the top of my head (the most important real estate when it comes to hair). But when I read this girl’s thoughts on turning gray (she’s 26 as well), she made me feel not as embarrassed about my grays…but it still sucks to have them when there’s still a 2 in front of your age. It’s something I just have to accept and either roll with it or cover them up. And right now I’m still in the covering up phase, which I’ll probably be in for quite some time…unless I can make my hair look like this and actually pull it off.
Another fact I’ve had a hard time accepting is that my skin is changing. Not in a wrinkled way but it’s just different. I never really had skin issues and didn’t even buy foundation until college (and I still try to avoid it as much as possible) but now my skin isn’t as smooth and even as it used to be. Just another sign that things don’t say the same forever. I’ve been using sunscreen and eye cream since high school so I’m hoping that those will help me in the crease department but not having 15-year-old supple and even skin is just something 26-year-old me has to come to terms with.
Now it’s not just the physical stuff that I have to accept — it’s everything else. First I get a few gray hairs, then my friends start getting engaged…then next thing I know everyone is pregnant. Then I get my own insurance and have to figure out what a deductible is and tax season comes around and I’m like “every Net-a-Porter charge is a business expensive…promise.” Then I realize certain foods start to bother me, although of course I eat them anyway. I want to live a few years longer so I start exercising. I even start drinking green juice. All the sudden it’s like WHO AM I? Have I totally lost sight of fun Jena who refused to take shots yet always drank vodka straight from the bottle? It’s funny that now when I hear someone even say the word “pre-game” I immediately feel like a grandma. Now, I sip red wine, drink craft beer and cocktails and going out to me is a nice long dinner. The thought of drinking a vodka soda in River North makes me cringe. If I’m out past midnight I’m both proud of myself and regret it in the morning. And my ideal evening consists of Lou Malnati’s, a Shark Tank marathon and quality couch time with my boyfriend and two dogs. Talk bout getting old, right? Next thing I know I’ll be ordering Sanka at breakfast. Do I necessarily want to relive those binge drinking days? Not really. But do I want to become an adult (or even worse…a lady)? Still not totally ready…
So at the end of the day, these are just things I’ve realized more recently and have to learn to accept the facts. These aren’t complaints, but really just observations…and I can’t imagine I’m in this boat alone. Aging for a 20 something is really just going from that college party phase (which lasts way beyond graduation by the way) to becoming more responsible and realizing you can’t always do things the way you used to. I pretty much had to file for divorce from Papa John’s post-college (although we rekindled just once last year)…and who knows where I’d be today if I hadn’t done that? By now I’ve learned that “eating healthy” does not consist of 100 calorie packs of cookies, wearing SPF below 30 does nothing, late night eats are not as fun as they used to be, I can’t go the rest of my life refusing to work out, a bagel a day does not keep the doctor away, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about gray hair (besides dye it of course).
So I’ve accepted the facts…what about you? Is there anything you’re starting to realize now that makes you feel old (even though you’re not)? Tell me in the comments so I don’t feel like a crazy person.
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