1. When you realize that wearing clothing plastered with name brands isn’t the most important thing in the world. No one is going to care if your shirt or bag is by Marc Jacobs (even though Marc Jacobs really wants people to know their products are by Marc Jacobs…have I said Marc Jacobs too many times?). No one worth your time is ever going to judge you based on the fact that your jeans are from Hollister or Target. So why not save money while looking fabulous?!
2. When you start voluntarily eating healthy, and trying to suppress your inner 5-year-old-around-cake-at-a-birthday-party self. Adults are supposed to have self-control, right?
3. When you re-watch your old favorite TV shows that are totally aimed at 10-year-olds because you just can’t resist! You watch for hours just to remember the feeling of waking up early in the morning and curling into the arm of the couch before the sun came up. You also remember the feeling of your stomach growling, and suddenly you really wish your mom was just a shout away to make you some Saturday morning pancakes.
4. When you stop feeling the need to tweet every feeling you have via song lyric (you never want to be too obvious). And if you haven’t stopped yet, you are either famous or (hopefully) hilarious.
5. When you realize you are never going to marry your favorite boy band member because he has no idea you actually exist. You realize that their songs were meant to hit you where it hurt (we all loved “Little Things” a little too much at some point) and hence why you “fell in love” in the first place. You also begin think of the millions of other things you could have bought with the money you spent on their merchandise over the years (did you really need that pillow with Harry Styles’ face on it?).
6. When you have no idea what is going on in your mind. You catch yourself thinking one thing one moment, then the complete opposite the next. Everything that you once thought you knew makes no sense, and suddenly the world is a weird place that you have no idea how to navigate. You cannot for the life of you even figure out where you stand with yourself — so naturally, it comes to the point where you have to sit down.
7. When you realize your parents can’t protect you from everything, and that they are just as human as you are.
8. When you realize that you cannot avoid making mistakes. No matter how many times you say you won’t do something again, you probably will. We’ve all been there…and then we’ve been there again. Eventually, you’ll learn. But in the meantime, you come to peace with the fact that messing up is okay; in fact, it’s kind of necessary for later on down the line. I mean, you don’t want to be that boring old person with no crazy stories, do you?
9. When you realize that going to bed before the streetlights come on every once in a while is probably one of the best feelings in the world, even though 10-year-old you would have been begging to stay up just a little bit longer.
10. When you realize you, and only you, are responsible for who you are and who you become. You have to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and hope you see someone that you are proud of.
11. And after you are done being happy with yourself, you can now finally scream because you have no idea who that big kid in the mirror is! Last time you checked you were closer to 10 than 20, but what’s perhaps most certain of all is that you will never be ready to let go of the little kid within you.