Thanks to Taylor Swift’s song “22,” there was a great deal of excitement about turning 22. Last year I celebrated my birthday with Taylor on repeat, Pinot in hand, and a vision of a year filled with scenes from the “22” music video. After graduating from college and being forced into the working world I have spent the last six months trying to get the most out of being 22, terrified that reality would hit as soon as 23 came along.
The fear was in part with my love affair with Taylor Swift (I’m not even ashamed to admit that), but also that our lives are changing so drastically and it’s hard to emotionally keep up with what is happening around you.
You want to be part of two worlds. You’re discovering the “Grownup 9-5” world, but part of you is still holding on to the student life. The two worlds conflict horribly. One requires you to be up before sunrise, while the other is encouraging you to go out for drinks on a Wednesday, potentially making it home in time to see that same sunrise.
So now that I’m officially 23, I’m reassured (once again) that age is just a number. I still feel like a hot mess that relies too heavily on caffeine, Ativan, and my best friends to get me through the tough days.
For anyone who fears no one will like you when you’re 23, here is a list of 23 ways being 23 is exactly like being 22.
1. I have too much to dream at night, and I’m still trying to find a way to make it all happen.
2. During exams I always “found” time to binge watch an entire season of Grey’s Anatomy the night before an exam. No matter how busy and exhausting work is I manage to “find” time to binge watch an entire seasons of anything Netflix recommends.
3. I use (and will continue for as long as I can get away with it) my student ID for student discounts.
4. I get called “kiddo” at work. No question this is the worst thing about being the youngest person in the company. Turning 23 did nothing but highlight this fact.
5. I’m still wearing the jeans I had in high school (I’m a little ashamed to admit this). I’ve done some serious closet purges, but there is one pair of jeans I can’t part with. Despite the fact that they are faded and need to be put in the dryer to shrink back to their original size after a few hours, I still pull them out of my closet first.
6. I’m still capable of making the same bad decisions.
7. My friends and I are laughing about the same jokes, even if no one else is.
8. Working girl or not, my savings account closely resembles the savings I had as a student.
9. I call my dad after something traumatizing. Whether it’s finding out my brother has a new girlfriend he never told me about, or that I was rear ended in my brand new car, he’s the first person I call. (Disclaimer: I am not a crazy older sister. There may have been more than two glasses of wine already consumed when I found out about his girlfriend via Instagram.)
10. Yearly physicals. Still avoiding them.
11. I order chicken fingers on occasion.
12. I can’t gracefully handle more than two glasses of red wine. Or white wine for that matter.
13. Bad puns make me laugh the hardest. My sense of humor hasn’t changed much since elementary school.
14. The love/hate relationship between me and heels is alive and well. The only difference is I feel obligated to wear them to the office (kicking them off as soon as I get to my desk).
15. I live by the words my Granny taught me.
“Leave a clean kitchen; come home to a clean kitchen.”
“You are entitled to your opinion, but that doesn’t mean you have to share it.”
“Lipstick always makes you feel better.” (mostly lip chap, though)
16. My LinkedIn profile is just as pathetic as it was a month ago. It’s on my list of things to improve on (along with my tolerance for red wine).
17. I consider oatmeal to be my signature dish. (Truth: it’s one of the few things I can make without directions/doesn’t result in a disaster.)
18. I refuse to do laundry until I’m on my last pair of socks, underwear, or until there is one bra left in the drawer.
19. My mom takes care of me when I’m sick, heartbroken, or just in the laziest of moods. She even sets up the humidifier when I have a stuffy nose. The woman is a saint.
20. I’m living at home (again) and I have very conflicted feels about this. I’m terrified I might never move out of my parents’ house but equally as terrified of having to find my own place and be responsible for the price of independence. On a positive note, mothers are obligated to cook for their children (at any age).
21. I’m likely to hyperventilate at the first sign of conflict. I still haven’t mastered “dealing with conflict” without the aid of Ativan or complete avoidance.
22. My car insurance is insanely high.
23. I’m happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.