So a bit over a week ago, I turned 27. I decided to compile a list of 27 reasons why getting older is kind of awesome, but then I got distracted with simultaneous birthday celebrations and celebrations for my boyfriend, who passed his nurse licensing exam.
It’s been a very exciting time for both of us.
Despite a lot of brainstorming, I couldn’t actually come up with 27 reasons why I’m glad to be on the so-called “wrong” side of 25. It’s not that I couldn’t come up with 27 if I REALLY tried–it’s just that I have other things to do that are more important. . (Please see # 10 if you have an issue with that.)
Also, a lot of these reasons are all-encompassing, Big Picture-type reasons, and lots of smaller reasons would fit into each category.
I hope you’ll enjoy my reasoning here. And if you don’t, it’s no skin off my nose. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have mature 27-year-old things to do…
1. Mo’ Age = Mo’ Wisdom
This is kind of a no-brainer, sure, but it’s also totally true. The older I get, the more I feel I have the knowledge I need to tackle life in general. Or just find my way around the city. Or answer difficult emails in a concise and professional manner. Or write silly blog posts about ageing.
2. Better sense of self
I’ve had 27 years to get to know myself. I have a better sense of what I like and dislike, what I’m truly capable of, and what I struggle with. And I’ve also had the time to go on adventures and push myself to the limit. (Like that time I moved to Costa Rica on a whim?)
I feel like a complete person, even if I’m still learning and growing. I feel like I know a lot more about who I am these days, and that alone makes getting older worth it.
3. More boundaries
Dealing with people is so super hard, and it never, ever gets completely easy because there’s always at least one fuckhead traipsing around and tossing piles of poop into your plans.
This is why boundaries are important. Knowing when and how to say “No” to someone, be it a coworker, friend, or family member is one of the most necessary skills you could ever want.
Boundaries require time and energy and cultivation. It’s so hard to know when to:
- End a friendship
- Hunt for a new job
- Call your lover out on their bad behavior
- Impress upon family members that you are not at their every beck and call
- Or simple speak up and say how you’re really feeling
The more you practice, the better you’ll get. I’m still working hard to figure this stuff out, but I have a much better handle on it than I did when I was an eager-to-please 20 year old.
4. Less drama
This one goes hand-in-hand with Boundaries. Here’s the thing: some people LOVE drama and want a dramatic life filled with passion and intrigue.
Good for you, if that makes you happy. Want to know what makes me happy? The stability and non-drama that comes with having a rock-solid relationship with my boyfriend, knowing that my friends won’t ditch me when I’m out, and that I haven’t screwed anyone over so seriously that I’ll wind up in some kind of bar fight.
I have very little patience for people who instigate drama because they’re bored. Keep that shit out of my life, man.
5. A few good stories…
Just because I’m no longer interested in drama doesn’t mean my past didn’t have a fair share of it. I’ve been on stupid adventures and made bad decisions (Jager Bombs!) and generally behaved like an idiot.
And because of my past idiocy, I have a nice little arsenal of awesome stories to share at parties.
Like that time I killed on of the world’s most poisonous spiders? Right here. Or the time I almost joined a yoga cult? Also here. Or that time everyone at my college dorm ate…interesting brownies? Lol, I’m not writing that one down for the Internet. Ask me in person sometime.
But seriously. I’ve had 27 years to cultivate some awesome tales. And I’m always looking forward to more.
6. Acquired tastes have mostly been acquired
Coffee, beer, mashed potatoes. Some things in life need to be tried repeatedly before you can really enjoy them. Now that I’ve spent several years drinking coffee, I can tell between a quality cup of Joe and one that’s been burned to shit. I’ve graduated from treat-like frappeccinos to lattes and iced coffees. My tastes have become more refined.
At 27, I can tell you the difference between an IPA and a double IPA; a milk stout and a porter. I have different beer preferences depending on the weather (and the day of the week). This is a way big improvement on just drinking whatever’s in the keg. No more Keystone for me, baby!
Also, I hated mashed potatoes for like 20 years, and then one day I up and tried them again and they are FREAKING DELICIOUS and I’m not wasting another minute of my life not eating mashed potatoes.
Whew. Glad I could get that one off my chest.
7. No more acne
Everyone’s skin is different, and I know that Adult Acne is a real thing. Fortunately for me though, I think the majority of my acne-ridden days are now behind me.
For someone who had acne from around 13 to 23, this is kind of a huge deal. It might be my favorite reason for getting older.
8. Pick your battles wisely
This one is important but easy to overlook. It’s about knowing when something is worth the fight, and knowing when to back down.
People do dumb stuff every day. I certainly do. But it’s up to me (as the mature, 27-year-old adult) to choose what stuff to get ruffled up about, and what to let roll off my back.
Things that aren’t worth fighting over:
- Spilled milk
- Messed up food orders (I’m not saying don’t send it back, just don’t yell and be a dick about it. Waitstaff are people too)
- Rude people brushing past you/bumping into you
- When someone is running late to something vaguely unimportant (like social plans, but not big ones, like a Wedding)
- I don’t even have enough room here to list all the little things. Just stop and think before you throw a fit, people!
Also, don’t forget to HALT. (Are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? HALT.) In other words, look for the problem in yourself before you look for it in others. Then pick your battles wisely.
9. Skills and experience at work
It’s weird to think I’ve been a part of the professional world for 5 whole years now. I’ve held a number of jobs since I graduated college, and I’ve been diligently stacking up experience. I can go about my life and say things like “I have 4 years of blogging experience” and impress the pants off of people.
That’s pretty damn awesome.
10. Give way less fucks about pretty much everything
Oh man. I know I just said “No More Acne” was my favorite thing about getting older, but I’m changing my mind. Giving NO FUCKS (or Less Fucks) is my absolute FAVORITE THING about ageing.
Everyone told me I would care less about the little things as I got older, but I was the kind of girl who’d always worn her heart on her sleeve and I didn’t believe them. But now I know that it’s true.
Things that would have broken my heart as a teenager (being snubbed by mean people, being gossiped about, not being liked) don’t hurt me nearly as much anymore. It’s AWESOME.
I’m not saying I’m impervious to pain–definitely not. But I expend my emotional energy in a highly selective manner now. Also, I’m not afraid to be myself, be honest about what I like and don’t like, and speak my mind.
And if you don’t like that, go fuck yourself. :-)
11. Shorter beauty routine
It only took 27 years, but I have a well-tested cache of go-to beauty products and a daily routine that’s quick and painless. I can put on my face and be out the door in less than 10 minutes. Fancy that!
12. Better sense of style
Much like #11, this is the sort of thing that comes with age. It’s less about being stylish for the sake of trendyness, and more about knowing how to dress my body. Also important: knowing what I like to wear and what’s comfortable vs. things I can’t stand (ie. super high heels, skin-tight jean, cap sleeves, underwear that sticks in your butt crack, etc.)
13. Party smarter
Or just less often? Or more efficiently? Here’s the thing: the older I get, the less booze it takes to get me drunk. In addition to the lower tolerance, I also I have a better appreciation for more delicious (ie. higher % alcohol) beer. So I can be drunk after 2 beers, and in bed after 3. Maybe that’s boring, but I give 0 fucks what you think (as per item #10), so yay for me.
Also, I’ve had the time to sample ALL THE BOOZE, so I know what I like (Gin, Beer), what I can’t stand (Whiskey), and what drinks bring out the worst in everyone (Jager Bombs).
14. Know how best to be productive
I write better in the mornings. I know this about myself now. If I want to do chores, write blog posts, go shopping, or accomplish things that need accomplishing, it’s best if I do them between the hours of 8am and 1pm.
Once I eat the lunch, the game changes and I become a zonked out zombie until I have afternoon coffee or take a brisk walk. But still, in the mornings, I am super-powered.
That’s why, even though I started writing this post during the nighttime, it took a morning writing session for me to button it up and post it properly.
Sorry, nighttime people! I’ll do my best to tip-toe around while I get things done, so you can get your beauty sleep.
15. Know your flaws
I’m stubborn, sloppy, and lazy. Without my boyfriend to shame me into being a functional human, I’d go a long time without doing dishes OR laundry. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, and something I’m trying really hard to change.
It’s important to be aware of your shortcomings. It helps you become a better person, as well as know when to apologize when you fail REALLY HARD at something.
16. Know what you want and value in your friends
Once you leave organized learning institutions, making friends is so much harder and requires significantly more planning. Oh, how I long for the days of “Oh, you live in my dorm? Cool, let’s go shopping together!”, but alas, those days are behind me.
However, now that it is no longer super convenient to make friends, you can remove Friends of Convenience from your life. What is a Friend of Convenience, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like: someone you are friends with because it’s easy–not because you like them as a person.
Friends of Convenience are often created by spatial parameters, such as living in the same dorm, apartment complex, or neighborhood. Sometimes these situations can blossom into real, awesome friendships. Sometimes they just weigh you down until you have to reinforce boundaries (#3) or boot them out because you’ve grown tired of their drama (#4).
On the other hand, now that you’re older, you probably have a better idea of the things you value in a friend. I know my reasons for choosing friends are the following:
- This person is fun to hang out with and doesn’t make make me feel bad about myself
- This person has my best interests at heart
- This person is loyal
- I see something in this person that is awesome and I would like to cultivate that thing in myself
- This person is kind
- This person makes me laugh
- This person is intelligent
Those are my criteria for friendships now, and right now the people I spend the most time with meet all of those needs. It’s made my social life significantly better.
17. Know what you need and want in a relationship
There’s a good chance that by the time you’re in your late twenties, you’ve either dated a lot of people or you’ve dated a few people for long stretches of time. No matter which path you chose, you probably learned a lot about what you want in a romantic partner (or if you even WANT a romantic partner at all).
In Javi, I’ve found a person that meets all of my emotional and romantic needs. It took a long time to figure out what the needs actually were (such as: someone who calls me out when I leave my clean laundry in the bin for weeks instead of putting it away in the closet…), but eventually you figure out what you’re looking for.
- Someone to make you a better version of yourself
- Someone to take care of you when you’re upset
- Someone who cooks really REALLY good burgers
- Someone who pushes you to be better
- Someone who makes you feel beautiful
- Someone you love with all of your being
It’s amazing how much knowledge comes with a few extra years. I feel like I learned more in the 7 years since I turned 20 than in all 20 of the years that came before it. (That’s probably a gross exaggeration, but you get what I mean, right?)
Anyhoo, I’m glad to be 27. It’s my lucky number and I hope it turns out to be a lucky year.
Here’s to ageing gracefully and reinforcing boundaries, lovely readers!