I feel like a 20 year old trapped in a 30ish year old body. I know I’ve changed and (hopefully) matured over time, and I’d like to think of myself as a better person today than I was the day/month/year before, but all the same sometimes I forget my age! The activities I enjoy, the kinds of clothes I want to wear and the places I want to see are all still the same in my mind, so I can’t always spot the difference between 20 year old Me and present Me. Well… except, that is, for the physical ‘signs’ of aging: some discomfort with sky-high heels that I used to run flights of stairs with, slower metabolism, weaker knees (and it has nothing to do with seeing a handsome guy), lower alcohol tolerance, and so on.
There are days I wish I could turn back the clock, but you know what? There are more days where I don’t, because ‘aging’ comes with so many perks. Read this list and see if you agree!
- Knowing what you want. This is, for me, the very best thing about getting older. It is now very clear exactly what you want in all the different areas of your life, and that knowledge allows you to choose more carefully where and with whom you spend your time. This maturity also empowers you to stand your ground according to what you believe in, and know that your friends and family love and accept you anyway, even if your viewpoints differ from theirs.
- Having a level of financial freedom. After having worked your butt off for what feels like an eternity, the reward is reaching a certain level of financial freedom. I’m still not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I now have the flexibility to make adjustments in order to afford the things I want to spend on. Gone are the days of asking your parents for cash to buy stuff, and you sure as heck won’t need a husband to give you your loot either. There’s nothing like having your own hard earned moolah.
- Independence. With age comes independence. You can live on your own, learn to cook and prepare your own food, manage your utilities, change a lightbulb (or maybe even a tire), decorate your place, resolve a crisis, and pretty much feel capable to do whatever you need. This is the part where you really do have a choice as to how to live your life and what you get to do for the rest of it.
- Confidence. I think this is the sexiest part about getting older—the love and respect you gain for yourself. You can enter a room and not feel insecure, because you know your worth and have honed a level of expertise and mastery in whatever area you’ve practiced. You don’t try too hard to fit in, nor need to compete because you’ve accepted you can’t be everything to everyone. What other people think of you does not concern you as much, and you don’t need to please others or just blindly join any bandwagon that rolls around. Basically this confidence allows you to love yourself, flaws and all.
- Gratitude. When you look back on your younger days and realize all the things that could’ve gone wrong, all the scrapes you managed to get out of, all the challenges you have gotten through, all the people whose lives you’ve touched (and vice versa) I’m sure you feel a profound sense of gratitude and some pride too. After all, you’ve made it this far in one piece, you’ve managed to fend for yourself and reach certain milestones, you’ve come so far from where you started—regardless of what your issues are today, what’s not to be grateful for?
- Improved Style. I must say that almost all the ladies I know look so much better now than they did many years ago. I guess it’s because getting older also means that after years of experimentation, you now have a better idea of what styles look good on you, what you’re comfortable wearing, and how to execute the way you want to look. That makes a huge difference in one’s appearance.
- More Meaningful Relationships. Another awesome thing about years coming to pass is knowing who’s really got your back, and knowing/choosing who you really care about. If in your twenties it was important to build a network, explore, make lots of new friends, and run in certain circles, now it’s all about cultivating the relationships that bring out the best in you, and prioritizing that over shallow social commitments. This gives you a level of assurance and footing that you are surrounded with the right people, with true friends, and that’s worth a whole lot more than simply being popular.
- Being Happy. You know how when you were younger, happiness was dependent on ‘shallower’ things like having things, toys and gadgets, fitting in to a certain crowd or being with a certain person? When you get older, happiness means so much more—it means love and acceptance of yourself and of others, it means contentment, peace of mind, appreciation of the simplest little things. And that means, in turn, that happiness is far more real today than it ever was before, because it all starts with you.
What are your favorite things about getting older? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , and follow @thekikaydiaries on Instagram for lots of Kikay updates!