After the panic subsided, I realized something was going on. It felt similar to the harsh reality of stepping out of a steaming, hot shower into the cold air. I thought to myself "This must be what they call maturing, growing up, or adulting". It's not as fun as I had imagined it would be, when I was the little kid propped up on my dad's shoulders. The one who couldn't wait to be all grown-up. Can somebody please remind me what I was so excited about? Because let me tell you, I was expecting it to be something a little more glamorous, "au contraire", this is what being an adult is really about:
1. Your body slowly starts to deteriorate
I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I kick butt during workouts at the gym, and in martial arts classes. But these days I'm noticing a slight difference in my recovery time. Sore joints, and having to constantly tape myself up is no fun.
As for my digestive system: I've always had a healthy appetite, and my first love is pizza. But the days of eating a medium pizza to myself are over. Doing so would call for indigestion right around 3 am. :( Cheese and bread are not my friends anymore. I even get heartburn from broccoli. When you start getting heartburn from anything green, you know you're an adult.
Also my metabolism has slowed down tremendously. It's all fun and games until someone doesn't fit into their favourite jeans anymore. I experienced this for the first time this year and it wasn't pleasant. I could also blame it on my new relationship, and being on a cloud of love, wine and cheese for about a year, but I'm willing to take responsibility for my actions and blame it on my metabolism. ;)
I can laugh about it now because I'm on the right track to squeezing my thighs back into my pants. But at the time there were tears, followed by a pity party, ice cream and a trip to the store to by some "transition pants".
Bottom line, whether you're active or not, your body eventually starts to see the wear and tear. Evolution and modern medicine has allowed us to live longer, but that doesn't mean our bodies were meant to sustain to abuse of the additional years. Our spine for instance has evolved over the years due to our transition from four-legged, to two-legged creatures. All that pressure causes back pain for everyone eventually.
2. It's harder to make friends
One of the main reasons it's harder to make friends is because everyone is busy with their own life. People our age all have careers, hobbies, houses, families and already established friendships. And if you don't already have a couple of kids running around at home, EVERYONE you're associated with does. So making plans becomes a little more challenging. Your good friends will always be there no matter how sporadic your hang-outs become.
You're also pickier about who you choose to let into your life. You don't click with everyone and that's ok. I'd rather spend an evening with myself, than fake it with someone I don't truly mesh with.
3. You become intolerant of the younger generations
You start saying stuff like "Is it just me, or are teenagers dressing like homeless people ?" Or " Kids these days are so spoiled!" And you ask yourself "Was I that bad?" The answer is YES, yes you were. You were once the annoying younger generation to someone. If you're anything like me, some days you find their cluelessness and innocence, refreshing and endearing. And other days you may think to yourself "Awe, it's so cute life hasn't happened to you yet...just wait!"
4. You have a Costco card
You've been to Costco with parents, roommates or friends, and mooched off of their club cards. But when you finally decide to invest in your own Costco card, you're officially an adult. I have a love-hate-procrastination relationship with Costco.
It takes some serious mental preparation to get your head in the game about a trip to Costco. It's no walk in the park. Once you make it there, flash your club card to the greeter and start your shopping experience, ACDC's TNT starts playing in your head and it's go time. It's crowded, the carts are oversized and hard to maneuver, and it seems like it's a family event for most. Don't get me wrong family reunions are great. Except when they happen in the middle of an isle at Costco.
When all the craziness of making your way through the isle is done, and you've eased the pain of the experience with a few food samples, you start to marvel at the amount of fruits, veggies and meat you can get for a great price. And you repeat it to your significant other about 5 times while waiting in line to pay. "I can't believe we're getting all of these chicken thighs for $10."
The inside of your fridge starts to look like a deli. The containers are so large you need to use both hands to carry them from the fridge to the counter. Before putting the meat in Ziploc bags to freeze it, you start sending photos of all your purchases to your parents to show them how responsible you're being. If that's not a true picture of adulthood I don't know what is.
5. Afternoon delight has a different meaning
Get your minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about day drinking. Brunch or happy hour has become my favourite time to knock back a couple of drinks. Why? it allows me to get my drank on, and still be in bed at a decent time. A night out is usually followed by a full day of eating junk food and binge watching shows, half dead on the couch. That's no longer how I wish to spend my weekends. Because, I'm a big kid now!
6. You actually care about what's going on in the world
I used to avoid watching the news like the plague. I just found it so depressing. Now I'm actually interested in knowing what's going on. I don't know if this is partially because Trump is an idiot, and I love to see him flail.
It occurred to me when I was on the phone with my best girlfriend, and all of a sudden we started arguing about politics. Until we snapped out of it 10 minutes later. This was so out of character for us. Again a sign of being a grown-up.
7. You're ALWAYS tired
Sure you're more organized, generally you take more of an interest in your health, you've probably worked really hard to work your way up to a job you actually enjoy. All and all, you're in a good place. But with great power comes great responsibility. And responsibility is exhausting. You're more serious about achieving goals, which means you care more, which brings more stress, which brings occasional insomnia, which brings.. you guessed it, being tired.
8. You don't just have brain farts, your brain completely shits its pants
uummmm.....What was I saying again?
If I got to bed past a certain time, I'm a complete zombie the next day. I used to be able to power through a day at work after a night out no problem. What happened to my stamina? Now I understand why this happened - my mom stuttering through everyone's name before getting to mine, like she had Turrets. Sorry Mom, for judging.
For women foggy moments could also be due to fluctuating hormones. During pregnancy for example this is caused by an elevated level of estrogen. During menopause it's caused by a dip in estrogen. Not to mention the lack of sleep during pregnancy and then for the next 25 years or so until your kids are finally (hopefully) settled. That's when you start menopause and don't sleep at night because of hot flashes and cold sweats.
Essentially women are just destined to have skid marks left behind by their brain their entire lives. So much to look forward to.
9. An exciting Friday night is watching Netflix
You guys get the point, I don't think I need to say anything else about this one.
10. Your patience is wearing thin
My patience is thinner than ever for just about everything. I'm not talking about the type of patience that makes you snap at your spouse because he always leaves his clothes lying on the floor.
I'm talking about the patience that makes you set your boundaries, and go for what you want. You know what you are willing to deal with, and what you can't. When you look back nothing bad ever came from asking for what you wanted or needed. Either the person complied, or you realized you could do better and moved on.
It seems that we are more comfortable speaking our minds. I feel like that's why our careers excel at this age, and our relationships are healthier. And it seems the older you get, the less you care about what people think. That could be why elderly people just blurt stuff out whenever they feel like it.
But, it isn't all bad... is it?
As much as getting older sucks, there are some perks. For example, being 100% comfortable in your own skin, being financially stable, and emotionally mature. You can afford to travel a little more. Let's not forget breaking free from FOMO (FOMO means fear of missing out-for my mature fans).
But before we start benefiting from this new-found wisdom called adulthood, it's normal to go through a brief moment of distress. That happens you realize your habits, and opinions have changed so much you don't recognize yourself anymore. And that can be a scary thing. But don't panic, nothing is forever. We are forced to adapt and accept ourselves through different phases. We are constantly growing and evolving, If you can laugh about it you'll enjoy the ride.