1. This is actually the age many people want to have kids.
For the longest time when I’d hear that so-and-so was preggo, I’d be like, “DAAAMN, what a terrible accident! Sucks for them, no more clubs, no more bars, way more responsibility — their youth is over!” This was my initial reaction because most of the time, high school and college kids who have sex are just trying to zooma zoom zoom and a boom boom boom – not a create a crying, screaming, pooping life.
So for a while, I’d cringe when I saw reports of buns in ovens. I felt bad for friends and acquaintances; like their social life had passed away and this was a funeral. You poor thing, I feel for you, should I wear all black to the baby shower? Years went by and over time it was happening more frequently. Suddenly every Facebook status was either in reference to a hangover from last night or this morning’s ultrasound test results. Then it hit me. This is no longer like an episode of Teen Mom in which I know the characters. Somewhere over the last decade, while I was busy watching an absurd amount of Youtube and procrastinating on passion projects, people were finishing school, getting careers, husbands, wives, homes, etc. – and they’re doing this baby stuff on purpose. If you’re like me and feel as if you just learned how to take care of yourself, the thought of having kids is still a terrifying one, but for others it’s something they’re fully capable of handling.
2. Your body just ain’t what it used to be.
I blame the school cafeteria for enforcing 12-years worth of poor dieting habits. They made me believe I could live a happy, healthy life eating chicken nuggets, tater tots and pizza on the reg. While you can eat those things and be happy, the healthy part is a little more difficult to achieve. Not only do we have to worry about clogged arteries, diabetes and whatnot, but outer physical appearances are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. My abs have been buried under a depressing layer of fat that was obtained while I sat lazily in numerous drive-thrus, waiting on a variety of grease soaked foods. The fact that my fitness routine is 15 minutes on the elliptical once a month isn’t doing me any favors either.
Also we have other aspects of our body weakening. Stomachs are sensitive and now a scoop of ice cream results in uncomfortable hours on the toilet. A game of basketball is followed up by weeks of sore knees. The insane amounts of alcohol that you used to bounce back from the next morning are now capable of causing day-long-hangovers. Basically our recovery time and metabolism slow down, and eating recklessly comes with consequences that render our current wardrobe useless.
3. Some of our dreams had time constraints, and are literally impossible to achieve now.
The things we wanted to do may not have happened back in the day, and now it’s simply too late. To play on the high school football team, to get better grades, to be popular, to attend a university and live in a dorm at 18 – some opportunities came with expiration dates and that train has left the station. Is that sad? I suppose it can be looked at that way, but you don’t want to waste too much time dwelling on what could’ve been instead of working towards what still can be.
4. If a person you’re friends with or dating treats you bad, that’s not likely to change. Ever.
As someone who is against quitting on relationships and people without a fight, I do believe there are times when you’ve got to realize that you just aren’t being treated well – or even decently for that matter. Look, it’s hard to change, just think about how set in your own ways you are, and how difficult it is when you attempt to break habits and alter your instincts. Now as trying as that is, you’re looking at an improbable challenge if you try to change another person. In fact, you shouldn’t even attempt to, especially when dealing with flat-out mean spirited, inconsiderate folks.
When someone shows you who they are, you’re supposed to accept it, but sometimes we don’t want to. We want to believe that a person we care for can be better, so we hope that the ugly we saw was just a rare bad moment, and a flash of their unpleasant side. But when one incident turns into two, and two to three, and so on, we’ve got to stop kidding ourselves and accept the facts. It truly sucks when we thought we saw the sparkly glisten of a friendship or relationship, but it was nothing more than fool’s gold.
5. Friendships can end for no reason at all.
It isn’t a result of an emotional falling out that left a couple people on bad terms, and that’s what’s so sad about it. Over time we see certain people we used to be good friends with less and less. Jobs, relationships and other responsibilities create conflicting schedules, and eventually we grow apart. As years go by people disappear and our circles of friends either shrink, or new people we haven’t known as long fill the empty spots. We remember these people fondly, and if we run into ‘em, we’ll exchange an empty “we should go get coffee,” invitation that’ll never actually happen. You know it, they know it – but the thought of catching up at Starbucks is pleasant, so you’ll pretend as if it’s definitely going to happen. In all likelihood you’ll get lost in your constantly moving life, forgetting or not having the time to follow through on any reminiscing sessions.
6. Parents are just the best.
There was a point where many of us were embarrassed to be spotted in public with those old people we lived with, but now? Well, now we understand that every lesson they repeatedly embedded in our brains, every restriction, every discipline enforced – that all served a purpose. They are wise, they are cool and they are getting older, which we try to ignore but deep down, it scares the hell out of us. All we can do now is appreciate what they did for us, and try to make their lives easier to make up for the 18+ years of wear and tear we put on ‘em.