Lately I’ve been wondering when exactly I started frowning upon some of my actions from when I was 17 years old. They made perfect sense to me then. And the 17-year-old me would probably think the 26-year-old me is boring and annoying.
I can’t determine exactly when this happened, but I can tell how I’m different and now I realize what older people meant when they used to tell me, “You’re too young now. You’ll see when you’re older.”
1. You have a different mindset.
It used to be all about boys and parties. My relationships with my girlfriends were shallow and I didn’t know how to choose the right people for myself. Come to think of it, I didn’t know what a right person is. My relationship with my family was shallow, I didn’t really appreciate them being in my life. They were just there. These days I have an appreciation for having all those people around me and I feel blessed for them still being here. As for friends and boys, I have come to realize that all the people I like now have one thing in common—they bring me a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction. They don’t drain my energy, they replenish it. And that’s a criterion for letting people in.
2. You have different values.
As I mentioned, it used to be all about the hormones and the shallow pleasures of life. Today I know the importance of educating myself and bettering myself in every way. I have come to realize that you set a goal for the ideal you and work towards it. That’s all there is to it. Things don’t fall from the sky and land at your feet.
3. You have a better understanding of art.
There are a few movies I saw when I was younger and didn’t quite get them. I caught them recently on TV and there was this “A-ha!”‘ moment. I realized that I now know the emotions behind almost all of them. And it’s so simple. It’s been there all along. Living life is so simple, yet we try to complicate it by overthinking.
4. Your sense of fashion and body image change.
There was a time when I thought that being attractive and pretty meant showing cleavage and hiding your face behind make up. And while I might have been attractive that way, it wasn’t the right kind of attractive. Over the years I’ve gained a few pounds. Not a lot, but my body looks different—luckily, not in a bad way.I look in the mirror and see the body that I like, that I know how to dress—more or less—and a body that my boyfriend likes. And that’s all I care about.
5. You no longer fear the future so much.
In high school and in college I had a sense of being lost, of not knowing what options I have, and a dread of something ending. And it did end. But that forced me to go into the world and see what’s out there. And—surprise, surprise—my life didn’t end after graduation. There are still cool people to meet and cool things to do.
All you have to do is let the future come.