Getting older is no small feat. We accept it as a fact of life, but we often don't talk about all the things that come with aging besides what it does to our bodies. Sure, the second I turned 30, every bone in my body started to crack every time I move, but that's not all.
TV writer Gennifer Hutchison recently posted a Twitter thread about what happens to you when you age — aside from the physical stuff — and while it's stuff I can guarantee lots of people feel, it's not stuff that we necessarily acknowledge all the time.
Some of us have friends that we've known since we were little kids. Even your college friends don't look the same way they did when you met them. And forget it — when your friends start to have kids of their own, that's the craziest thing of all. It's strange to think that as much as you're seeing your friends age, they're also seeing you age.
Me personally? I've always been into music that older people have been into. But now, I'm no longer the youngest person at the Billy Joel concert, and that's concerning to me. I will say that I did recently go to a cool, "hip" show and felt like I could be the parent of every single person there.
Gennifer also comments on the very common phenomenon of looking at old pictures of yourself and thinking you looked young and beautiful and incredible, even though you know that you thought you looked like straight garbage when the photo was taken. It happens to the best of us.
What does this mean? You were beautiful then. You're beautiful now. Try to see it while you're living it. Eh?
I have a 17-year-old cousin and let me tell you, I feel like such an old fart whenever I'm around her. I don't know the bands that she listens to or the apps that she's on or the references she makes. I never feel as old as I do when I watch her become extremely bored by talking to me.
In addition to teenagers no longer seeing you, you'll realize slowly that stores you used to shop at no longer carry anything for you. Gennifer writes, "One day, you'll realize that you haven't shopped in/on a particular clothing store or site that you love and you'll wander over to it and every item of clothing will suddenly seem completely foreign and perplexing in style."
But, she also explains, the trends of your youth will return. I can't tell you how excited I was for baggy mom jeans to come back in style. But somehow, I feel a little too old to wear them now...now that they're cool again. Don't worry; I do it anyway.
One trend that I know is on its way back is low-rise jeans. I can say with certainty that I will not be participating in that.
I have always had a bad memory... I think. But it's so true. So much of my past is a blur. And at the same time, I have such random, specific memories that pop up due to certain triggers. Smells that I smell or phrases that I hear will remind me of such a specific moment in time, one that I thought I'd forgotten before it was dragged out of me.
The older you get, the more of those you have, and the more of those you get to remember. It's kind of cool.
Additionally, Gennifer writes, "Your friends will remember completely different s--t from when you were kids that you don't remember at all, and vice versa." I'm sure the vast majority of people have experienced this. The things that are still so significant to you are not necessarily to the person you experienced them with.
They may have a completely different set of memories and feelings attached to your relationship.
Raise your hand if you've had the experience of reading through your old journals and cringing so hard at the things you wrote and felt at the time? I definitely have. I was so dramatic in my youth. Truly embarrassing.
All that being said, if you didn't go through everything you went through and had all the feelings you had, you wouldn't be who you are today. Gennifer writes that one of the great things about getting older is, "You will likely be lucky enough to really know yourself now. To love the things about you that you hated for so long. You will still have problems, but you will have a better understanding of your core values and how to deal with them."
It's really fun to finally be (mostly) sure of yourself, who you are and what you want. Obviously, those things can change, but I think that when you get older, you become less afraid of those changes and more ready to embrace exactly who you are. And because of that, because of your infinite wisdom...
Part of you will feel like you can't possibly have any advice to give because you yourself have no idea what you're doing. But no one does. It's all about allowing yourself to make the choices that will make you happy and fulfilled and really not worrying about what other people will think of you for those choices.
I think Gennifer's thread went viral and resonated with so many people because it discusses the kind of great things about aging that post people don't admit. Sure, being in your 20s is fun, but nothing beats having a bunch of years under your belt and having a strong foundation to stand upon.
Certain aspects of aging are scary and sad for a lot of people, and that's normal. But, as Gennifer points out, a lot of it is beautiful too. So quit obsessing about the creaks in your joints and the social media apps you don't understand, and sit with the knowledge that you're incredible! You've learned so much, and you're not stopping anytime soon.