Awww, I’ll bet the title of this post made you think it would be some uplifting entry about the freedom and satisfaction of being a real adult, huh?
What actually inspired me to write this post was an exchange I recently had with another woman in the public restroom at my office building.
Upon walking in, she was closely examining her head, and I clearly startled her. The following exchange ensued:
Her: Oh! … I have gray hairs.
Me: I do, too.
Her: Haha, well, I’m trying to pull them out!
Me: Yup, I do that, too.
It was one of those “I feel ya, sister” moments, and I wanted to make it clear she didn’t have to be embarrassed, at least not in front of me. I’ve stood in front of that very mirror in the bathroom trying to pluck the gray hairs out of my head, too, and trying to look nonchalant if people came in. (Hey, the lighting is better in there, although doing it with tweezers at home is easier — and private!)
As we move further into adulthood, particularly our 30s, our bodies seem to noticeably change, and not in the awful-yet-exciting way of adolescence. Our hips seem to widen, our former diet and exercise tricks of our 20s yield lackluster results, little wrinkles begin to creep out on our face and gray hairs sprout from our heads.
It sucks. Sure, we can take steps to remain healthy, get more sleep, color our hair or even embrace the grays. None of that changes the mere fact that we are simply not the bouncy, fresh-faced ladies of our 20s. We just aren’t. I don’t have children, but I do have stretch marks, and I had them long before my weight fluctuated as much as it has in the past 5 or so years. WTF.
My dad was always fond of saying things like, “Get old or die young,” and “Don’t pluck those gray hairs… you’ll be bald!” when I whined to him about the injustice of discovering my first gray at 23 (!).
He’s right, of course. This is how it goes. This is life. I’m sure when I’m in my 40s and beyond, god willing, I’ll even miss these days. But still. It’s hard. It’s hard to really, really notice college kids are young. NFL players are young. Contestants on “The Bachelor” are young. WHEN DID I SUDDENLY BECOME OLDER THAN ALL THESE PEOPLE?!
I’m sure we all feel this way to an extent, but I sometimes wonder if my divorce plays a part in my take on it. I was with my ex from age 23-30. That’s the prime of my 20s, spent with one man, married, doing “married”-type things I suppose, whatever that means. Not that I didn’t live it up at all, but it was different. Then at 30, I started over. I felt like I was in my 20s again… but I wasn’t. I’m not. I want to have those 7 years to again build a relationship with someone, to save up for a house and to be at age 30 where a lot of my peers are. But I’m not. I’m back where I was at 23, but I’m nearly 33. WTF am I supposed to do?! The fertility clock is ticking, and I don’t even know if I want kids. I need more time!
But alas, here we are. I like my life, and I’m grateful for many things, but I still struggle.
Every month I buy the same boxed shade of Feria to cover up the grays. I’ve had chin hairs for a long time, but now I have more. If I’m out, I can barely make it to midnight. My nightly skin care regimen is now a necessity. Where I once piled on salicylic acid to zap zits, I now must pile on moisturizer (yet still deal with blemishes, too) and eye cream. I look at my stomach in the tub and wonder if I really ever had defined abs or that was just a dream.
Live it up, ladies in your 20s! Stay out until 3 and fall asleep with your eye makeup on. Admire your abs and your shiny, gray-less hair in the mirror. It’s all going to go away.
All of the above said — you couldn’t pay me enough to be a real Millennial. Shudder. Yes, I’m technically a Millennial (born between 1980-2000), but I’m not like those real Millennials. I give zero f%*&s about Kylie Jenner*. I still read books with pages made of paper and have a library card. I didn’t grow up glued to a smart phone … that only started a couple of years ago. And besides, my smart phone is vintage. It’s a 4s, it’s slow as a tortoise and it’s totally falling apart.
Rock on, 32. We’ve got 3 more months to go.
*I give one small f%*& — Did you see this?! Kylie Jenner is currently trying to trademark her name and is in a fight with Kylie Minogue. Who does Jenner think she is?! It’s not like she brought an epic comeback to the “Loco-Motion”!