Lady Smaggle – Age 21
On Saturday night I had a dinner date with Mr Smaggle’s bestie and he asked me a really interesting question. How is your life different now that you aren’t 21 anymore? When I actually stopped to think about it I realised I’m a different person now. Probably a better person. I also realised that getting older isn’t very scary. Here’s why…
1. You aren’t the new kid anymore.
When you are 21 you are brand new in your field. That means photocopying, researching, spending ridiculous amounts of time preparing meetings, having washed up managers develop vendettas against you for no reason and there’s this constant overlying need to prove yourself. When you get older, people listen to what you say. Your ideas and ideals are the same but the fact that you have more experience and tangible achievements to showcase them, it’s not as easy for people to dismiss or overlook you. You can finally relax a little because you’ve earned it.
2. You know what love really is.
And it’s not a summer infatuation, it’s not a movie starring Ryan Reynolds and it’s not something that hurts more than it heals. It’s more simple than that. It’s being blissfully happy eating eggs with your man on a Sunday morning, it’s talking to your mother on the phone for two straight hours and it’s having two or three friends on speed dial who would leave their own wedding of you said you needed them. Everything I thought was love before the age of 21 was simply a fun and dramatic distraction. Love is uncomplicated. Love is exceptional in it’s seemingly mediocre presentation. It’s not screaming out the front of a club at 2am or crying over a guy you pashed once at the uni bar.
3. You have the whole living thing under control.
When you are 21 and you move out of home it’s a huge shock to the system. Heat isn’t free. Neither is water. Food doesn’t magically appear in the fridge and dinner doesn’t cook itself. By the time you are in your late twenties you are totally down with separating your whites and darks, you know how to cook a few different dinners that include real food, you know that you can’t buy a $500 handbag with out having to call your parents to borrow money for rent. It’s a bit carefree and cute to be eating baked beans at 21 but now that you’re older it’s nice to be able to pay your bills on time… and drink wine that comes in a bottle.
4. You aren’t in a rush anymore.
When you are 21 everything is about now. You need to travel. NOW. You need to have a boyfriend. NOW. You need to be the editor of a magazine/rock star/CEO of a big company. NOW. You need a fabulous apartment. NOW. It takes a good few years to learn the subtle art of calming the frick down. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Now that you are no longer fuelled by Red Bull vodka soaked evenings, planning world domination, you have the maturity to look at your goals objectively and make plans to achieve them. Hint to current 21 year olds: If you want a head start on world domination I can tell you emphatically that it doesn’t start with smoking pot in a tree house.
5. You know your limits.
You know how much of a beating you can take from toxic people before you crack. You know how many nights a week you can work late before you lose the plot. You know how many glasses… bottles… of wine you can ingest before you start making friends with the toilet. Obviously being in your late twenties doesn’t give you immunity from making bad decisions it’s just that when you were 21 life was a big experiment. You were testing the waters of relationships, jobs, living situations and your health. Now that you are older you are armed with more information and a greater understanding of how you function mentally, emotionally and physically… and you can use this information to avoid the disasters that seemed to stalk you when you were younger.
And a little note to my 21 year old readers… enjoy being 21. You’ll never get to do it again. Make as many mistakes as you can because the world is a lot less forgiving when you’re on the other side of 25…
To the rest of my readers… care to share? What’s great about being the age you are right now? How do you feel about your younger self? How are you feeling about getting older?
Love Lady Smaggle