My 27th birthday was on Sunday and I consider this my entrance into late twenties. Some think it’s 26, but I prefer to think of that as my mid-twenties.
Every year on my birthday I always say “I’m not ## (in high pitched voice) anymore, I’m ## (in low pitched voice)” and I insist that every year sounds soooo much older than every other year.
And of course it sounds older.
It is older!
As I get older and older and older (wahhhh) life becomes clearer and thoughts occur that are so opposite from what I thought when I was younger.
I thought I’d share a few of them with you here, on this my online space.
I don’t want kids for a while.
This was a MAJOR revelation to me. See, my parents are young. Quite young. Younger than pretty much all of my friends’ parents. And most of my parent’s friends’ kids are in their teens. You get the picture. So you know that thing where what you grow up with is normal because that’s all you know? Well all I knew was young parents and so I thought that was normal and the way it was supposed to be. As I got older and more aware, I realized that most people’s parents had them when they were in their 30s or late 20s. But I still thought I wanted kids young because I like having young parents. And then I realized something.
You are stuck with your kids for the rest.of.your.life.
Did you know that? They don’t go away. You don’t give them back. They’re yours forever. And you know that thought that when they’re 18 they’re on their own? Or maybe when they graduate college? Nope. Not the case. I’m 27 and just moved back in with my parents. They still aren’t done with me! Nor my brother. He uses their house as a landing pad when he is moving from one country to another (although he’s been in NYC for a while so maybe at the age of 28, that’s done).
I want kids, don’t get my wrong. But not now. And not for a while. I want to continue being selfish. And when I move in with a boy or get married, I want it to be just the two of us for a few years before we add another human to the mix.
Of course now that I put this out there I’m going to be announcing an uh-oh! in a few months. Isn’t that the way luck works?
Surround yourself only with people who lift you up.
This was a hard one to learn and sounds like a Full House Dad lesson.
mmhm, that’s right!
Growing up as a kid in the rough neck of HVille (jk, not rough at all!) I didn’t have the best of friends. They were mean girls and I was the target a lot of the times. I sat at a window upstairs and watched them walk right past my house to go to the park or the woods or wherever they were going and not stop and knock to invite me (this was back in the day before mobiles and the interwebs although there was a thing called a house phone and they didn’t use that either). It was sad and I was sad and the whole thing is sad.
Then middle school came and I thought, yes! I can finally get rid of them. And I did for the most part, but it was still hard. At this point I didn’t have a lot of confidence and thought I wasn’t good enough for the girls I wanted to be friends with so I didn’t persue it much. Plus, they all thought my town was too far (although it wasn’t too far when they turned 21 and came to the bar in my town) and I was often left out.
Then high school came and my high school was huge. So I started to try and make new friends again, and I did. But I wasn’t ever one of the main members of any group and I was often forgot about when invites went out.
Finally, college. I made some great friends in college, but it was hard to stay in touch during breaks. So I became friends with girls I worked at Victoria’s Secret with. Enter crappy friends again. They flaked on plans, were rude, everything had to be their way, and I felt like I was in elementary school again.
Cut to today, and I finally feel like I have great friends. This past birthday was amazing because I spent it with people I cared about, who cared about me, and who were mature and respectful enough that I didn’t have to worry they’d trash my parents’ house.
I slowly started cutting people out of my life a few years ago that didn’t add anything to the relationship. I know it sounds cruel, but it’s one of the best things I did. I still hang out with some of them, but they are not my main source of fun and I don’t rely on them to have something to do every weekend. Instead, I have my best friends who care about me and that’s how I like it. I was never the girl who had a lot of close friends. I prefer to be the girl with a pocketful of best friends and a net of acquaintances. Which brings me to my next revelation…
It’s okay, in fact it’s fun, to be that girl.
Basically I mean, that it is okay to be you. Another lesson here. Sorry.
It’s true though, right? It’s okay to be you. I have an acquaintance (like that?) who always says “be you, man, be you” (hi winds!) and I love it so much I steal it all the time. You can be that girl. Whatever that means.
You were your truest self as a kid.
This came to me in December when I was laid off and had to decide, what’s next? I started thinking about what I used to play and what I wanted to be when I was little and I realized, I wanted to be a secretary. I’m now an assistant in the finance industry and I love it.
This also applies to my fashion. I’m a little bit quieter in my clothing choices, but overall I tend to go towards prints and colors. Just like I did when I was a kid. I always laugh when I say purple and orange are a wonderful clothing pair because that’s just how I thought when I was little.
So if you’re a little lost right now and wondering what you want to be when you grow up, think back to when you were little. And remember the best advice I ever got from my Dad: “Jacquelyn, I’m 42 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” So true, Dad.
check out that ‘stache!
Sometimes life just calls for an impromptu parade in your best rain and snow gear.
Aka, have fun. I don’t know why it took me so long to embrace this. From the outside, it looks like I always had fun. And I did have a lot of fun. But not as much as I could. I’m the practical one. The one who always carefully considers the consequences. Which is great, but not so much when you just want to have fun and the good Michelle is telling you “be good, be good.” Sometimes I just wanted to listen to the bad Michelle.
I think if I hadn’t been such a worrywart I would have had more fun in high school and college. So I’m trying to now. But it’s really hard now that I’m an adult and have to actually act like an adult.
Sean, call me if you’re interested in a reunion concert.
Don’t sweat it.
I don’t know that I ever did, but I definitely don’t now. I don’t sweat what I can’t change. If it’s already happened or I can’t do anything about it, move on and do better next time. There are plenty of more important things to worry about, so why spend time on the past or something that can’t be changed? No point.
Not everyone wants to hear what you think.
Another one I’m still working on. Guess what? Did you know that you don’t always have to give your opinion, be the smartest, know it all, have a life lesson to share, and point everything out? I just learned that. Sometimes I still don’t believe it.
Save your money.
Doh. Damn those young parents. They were right.
Dear 15 year old Jacquelyn working at Sesame Place,
You are going to make a lot of money this summer and you need to save it. Your 27 year old self will thank you when she is paying her student loans. You don’t need that candy, that shirt is crappy quality, and why do you want to go to the movies with those losers? You don’t. Have fun, but save most of it. Trust me.
Poor and 27.
Well, that’s probably enough for now. Especially since one of the lessons is not everyone wants to hear everything you think…
What are some things you’ve learned over the years?