23 things that come with age

I turned 23 years old on September 20th, 2015.

And all I’ve been feeling ever since then, is OLD. Oh my god, how do older people deal with their age? When I was 15 years old, I always thought I’d have a stable career and be married by the time I was 25. I’m left with 2 years, and I am absolutely nowhere near that goal. It’s not even in sight. I’m approaching my mid-20′s, and I am completely freaking out. I have always felt older than my age, since I was a teenager, and it stopped being a “cool” thing after I hit the big 2-0. When you’re 22, you want time to stop.

“I can’t wait to get older!!!!” – said no one older than 20, ever. That’s the kinda dumb shit only wistful teenagers say. When you actually become an adult, you want to stay at your peak and prime forever. You don’t look forward to wrinkles, saggy breasts and eventually, menopause.

Okay, maybe I’m taking it a little too far. But assuming a lot of my blog readers would be about my age, I thought I might get a chuckle or two out of my fellow early / mid twenties people by sharing from personal experience, a post inspired by myself being the oldest, and also yet the youngest I’ve ever been…

23 things that really do come with age:

1. You need to love yourself.
You need to love yourself before you can get anything done. You need to love yourself in order to have a healthy relationship with your significant other, fruitful friendships, self esteem, a successful career, or anything good in life. You can’t blame the world for your faults. You just have to offer your best, and even when that’s not good enough for other people, it has to be good enough for you.

2. Preferring to wear sensible clothing, and lighter make up.
Less is not more when it comes to clothing. Maintain your decency and leave more to the imagination when dressing yourself, ladies. Class, not crass. Unless you’re a sexually deprived male, nobody likes cleavage being shoved in their faces. Short shorts are okay as long as your butt cheeks are not hanging out.
But less is definitely more when it comes to make up. Apart from formal events or photoshoots, I prefer wearing very light make up these days. I have no idea how I used to wake up in the morning and pile on the full works: colored contact lenses, thick plasticky fake eyelashes, foundation, thick lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, under eyelinder… wtf? Nowadays, I just put on concealer for my dark eye circles, draw my brows and some lip color so I don’t look lifeless. And false lashes if I’m feeling fancy. Keep it natural. Clean straight teeth and clear, healthy complexion is already half the battle won. Invest in skincare and braces instead of make up, which doesn’t fix anything – it only covers things up.

3. Weight gain becomes easier.
I think it gets harder to lose weight and easier to gain it as you grow older. Something to do with slowed metabolism rate and your body just not working as well as it used to. This is completely factual and not me failing my diet and conveniently blaming it on science, right? No one in their 20′s can eat like they used to when they were 15 and not grow fat. Unless you’re the rare breed of human that eats whatever they want and doesn’t gain weight, well then I have news for you: everyone hates you.

4. Getting sleepy by 12am.
I used to stay up till 3am every night without a problem. But now, no matter what time I wake up, I find myself sleepy by midnight. No wonder old people are asleep by 10pm. I try to fight it as much as possible, though. I’ll sleep whatever time I want, thank you very much. My youth is mine to own. You will not take me down. DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOODNIGHT.

5. Quieter music.
I still like my angsty bands like Blink 182, Simple Plan, Linkin Park, Yellowcard but…. my most frequently played playlist on Spotify these days is “Acoustic Covers” (which are mellower renditions of their original mixes) for day time, alongside “Deep Sleep” and “Spa Music”. What can I say? I like falling asleep to the sound of the ocean more than heavy guitar solos.

6. Intense drowsiness after a meal.
This never used to happen. But now whenever I have a meal, especially if it’s carb-laden or heavy, I get SO DROWSY after eating. It’s like, wow, I’m so tired from shoveling food into my mouth, now I need to lie down and recover from all that exertion of energy.

7. Staying home on weekends cuddled up with a movie instead of hanging out late.
16 year old me at 1am: WOOOO I LOVE STAYING OUT LATE, THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!! Let’s never go home, the night is still young!
23 year old me at 1am: Whatever it is I’m doing, there’s a very real 90% chance I’d rather be at home watching a movie while lying on my bed instead.

8. Comfort over fashion.
Sandals over heels. How did I even used to walk in those sky high stilettos and not fall to my death?
Boy shorts over thongs. Nobody sees my underwear anyway.
Do not care if my hair looks uglier tied up, the weather is too damn hot. I’ve spent my years suffering in the name sake of fashion, but I officially declare I do not give a flying fuck anymore! I’ll wear whatever looks AND feels good, not just what I think is more fashionable to be seen in.

9. Moisturizing becomes a thing.
Goodbye oily skin, hello dry skin! It used to be ARGHHH pimples. Now after a shower imma be like ARGHH I need moisturizer or my face feels so dry I’m afraid it will crack if I smile.

10. It is important to be on time.
I used to always be really late for every appointment. I regret to admit that I still do arrive late for some of my appointments in recent time, but I realize how unprofessional and irresponsible that is. It instantly leaves a bad first impression that you’ll have to make up for later on. Being early has never hurt anyone.

11. Recognizing who your real friends are becomes way easier.
Your bullshit radar becomes more accurate and effective as you get older. When you’re in school, you’re like, “who are my real friends???? T___T”. For some reason, when you’re adult, it’s so much easier to read people and know who’s full of shit and who’s sticking by you for the long run. Thus making it easier for you to prioritize your time, and remove toxic people from your life.

12. Appreciating the value of hard earned money.
Because you’ve spent the last few years working your ass off and spending your own money is not the same as spending your parents’. It hurts every time you remove dollar bills from your wallet. It also makes purchasing stuff you really want all that much satisfying, because I EARNED THAT WITH BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS DAMN IT.

13. Your peers all seem to be one step ahead of you.
The pressure to save, have a stable career and start a family, is real. I blame this on Facebook. Scrolling through your feed, you be like “WTF she got married already?! She’s like my age! When am I ever going to find someone who will love me wholeheartedly for the rest of my life?? What if I never get married?!??” or like “How do these people my age even afford buying a house and starting a family, when I’m struggling to just get by?!”.

14. Liking fast food less.
Because, holy crap that’s a lot of grease that will take me 2 hours on the treadmill to burn off, and you finally understand fast food has the same nutritional value as cardboard.

15. You require less sleep.
Even though you get sleepy earlier, you can’t sleep for 12 hours straight anymore. Remember how you used to spend your weekends just sleeping? Yeah, those days are gone. Even when you WANT to sleep, sometimes you’ll just toss and turn in bed… painfully awake.

16. But then you get tired easily, all the time.
Afternoon naps are a requirement. Can’t seem to do anything as fast or as long as I used to. Even using the computer for more than an hour is exhausting. Can’t stop yawning, too.

17. Understanding the difference between needs and wants.
We want a lot of things in life. It’s human nature to be demanding. But we don’t or can’t always get what we want. As long as we have what we need, that’s enough. Anything else on top of that is a bonus that we should be grateful for. Those unnecessary materialistic desires and childish longing for superficial validation fades away eventually, because there’s this thing called life that takes up all your time, leaving you too busy to daydream about things that don’t actually matter. If all you can think of is the next expensive designer bag you want to buy but can’t afford, you aren’t doing enough with your life.

18. Your idea of love becomes a lot more realistic.
Sure, it’ll be just superb if I find a super tall, handsome, rich, charming, loving, romantic guy that’s also a 10/10 in bed… but really, I need someone who is mentally mature, someone who will be able to meet me halfway, accept me for who I am, and treat me the way I deserve. He’s not going to be perfect, and neither am I, but what’s important is that we both try with everything that we have. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Sometimes we don’t get to choose our battles, but at least we have a say in who we fight those battles with, or for. Don’t forget that your heart is forever yours to give or keep. He does have to have a great sense of humor, though. Your life is the longest thing you will ever experience, you’ll want to be laughing throughout most of it, or it’s going to be a miserable journey. Him being good looking is a plus, but even the best looking person could have an ugly heart. Find someone who is not just kind to you, but everyone around him. If he’s wealthy, that is fantastic, but there are some people in this world who have a ton of riches and nothing else to be happy about. The acceptance of imperfections is part of loving somebody. We accept the love we think we deserve.

19. Hygiene is really important.
Daily showers and flossing are a must. My record was 5 days of not showering when I was in primary school. I didn’t discover flossing till I was about 20 and now if I don’t do it, I feel disgusting. Nothing is a bigger turn off than body odor or bad breath. I don’t even keep long nails anymore, because I’m paranoid about dirt trapped beneath them. Cleanliness is a BIG DEAL.

20. Birthdays aren’t as cool to celebrate anymore.
Every year, it becomes less and less of a hoot. All-out parties become quiet dinners with close ones. Sometimes, it’s almost embarrassing or shocking.  …You mean I’m THAT old already?

21. Periods, unfortunately, do not get better as you get older.
23 years old and every month my periods still feel like there is a tiny masochistic gnome hiding in my womb making gleeful squealing noises as he hacks away inside of me. Cue Leona Lewis’ “Keep Bleeding”.. PMS does not get better till you’re WAYYY older.

22. Water is your number one beverage.
Water isn’t tasteless. Water is the taste of life. Water tastes great. Water hydrates and fuels your body. As for chemical-laden sugary sodas, well.. they fizzed out in my list of preferences.

23. Being productive is the most gratifying feeling in the entire world.
Sleeping in till 2pm, playing games all day, shopping, movie marathons or just luxuriously lazing around are all great activities. Relishing freedom and play time has never been a problem for any of us. We’ve all learned how to play since we were kids. But learning how to enjoy doing hard work, well, that’s something else. Few things you do for leisure will feel more fulfilling than doing what you’re supposed to do. Knowing you’ve achieved the goals you’ve set for yourself gives you a sense of fulfillment and purpose that aids your growth as an adult. Surpass your own expectations. You’re 20 something now, it’s high time to get your shit together. Hard work is meant for the young, who still have the drive and energy in them. Fight, while you still can fight. Chase after your dreams. If they don’t scare you, they’re not big enough. No matter what you’re doing, whether you love or hate it, think of the bigger picture. Think about how this will affect your life in 5 years time, and if it’s worth what you’re going through.

Now is the right time to start thinking about the rest of your life.