Why I'm not afraid to grow older
I was walking through the mall with Lauren yesterday, discussing the beauty of short engagements and fine china, when we passed by a store I hadn't visited in a while. It's called Wet Seal, and it's pretty much what it sounds. No, it's not actual seal skins, nor is it swim wear, but the clothes there certainly fit about the same as both a seal's skin and a bathing suit. It's for teens and maybe early twenties. I'd look for clubbing clothes there back when I did things like "go out."
Like I said, I haven't visited the store for a while. I looked for a while at the clothes hanging in the front window. In the past, I might have felt jealous of the size of the human-like figures wearing the clothing (ugh, everything looks great as a size 2!). Yesterday I didn't feel that at all. I looked at the clothes and thought, wow, I'm glad I don't want to dress like that anymore.
It's not because I don't like fashion these days. Fashion is fine. And it isn't because I want to lay around in sweatpants and fell comfortable. I wear plenty of uncomfortable clothing. I felt glad because I finally felt like I was too old to shop at Wet Seal.
I'm 26. I am starting to get lines on my face, though only in places where I wrinkle when I smile. I've started caring about the arch supports in my shoes. I've cut my morning routine in half and check my make-up less often. I don't try on seven outfits before going to a social event, and I go to dinner parties rather than drinking parties. I go to bed before midnight almost every night, and can wake myself before 8 without much trouble. I have stretch marks and celulite.
And I love it.
I have earned a quieter life. I have earned a break from high drama. I KNOW who I am, I really do, and I'm ok with it. I'm ok with letting people know the "real me," and don't feel like I need to do anything in particular to make them think of me differently than they do. The friends I have, though fewer, are good people, and they're people who don't get upset when I don't call every day.
I wonder why some people are so afraid of growing old. I feel like I've survived, and I'm proud of that. I know I'm not done with excitement and joy; there are many landmarks I haven't met yet, and a lot I have to learn. But I look forward to growing older, of gaining the peace and confidence that can only come from knowing that life is about more than just the current crisis, that people don't keep track of how often you wear a particular shirt, that everyone gets zits, and that usually no one notices when you do something stupid. I'm so relieved to be where I am, with the people I'm with. I'm going to soak it in.