This is my last month being 26. Which I think means I’m about to enter my late twenties (scary!) and 30 is just three years away. My boyfriend turns 30 next month. 27 and 30 sounds so much more grown up than I feel.
Anyway, this morning, while I was enjoying my vanilla latte, queso pera, baguette, and mandarin at Exito Express (Bogota’s version of Seven Eleven), I started thinking about the positives of getting old, and I came up with two:
1.) Embarrassment diminishes
2.) Patience increases
I can remember the awkwardness and self-consciousness of seventh and eight grade like it was yesterday. I can remember how much everything mattered: How I looked at someone, how I walked, what I wore, what I said, how much I weighed, how I did my hair, and who I sat with at lunch. I always felt embarrassed and honestly thought that everyone was paying attention to everything I did. All eyes, including my own, were on me, just waiting for me to mess up and embarrass myself. The small things mattered so much. This feeling reached it’s peak between sixth and tenth grade and started slowly diminishing afterwards. Now, at the ripe old age of 27, I don’t care much what people think of me and I don’t mind eating lunch by myself, which is a very liberating feeling.
In terms of patience, when I was younger, I wanted everything right away. I wanted to become a world famous journalist without paying my dues, I wanted to finish my college degree as fast as possible, and I wanted to be the perfect writer, artist, and person without actually putting any effort in. Nowadays, I’m a much more process-oriented person and I’ve learned to enjoy the journey as much as, if not more, than the final result. This increase in patience has greatly reduced my overall anxiety level, which is also very liberating.
Of course, there are some negatives to getting old. I have tiny, fine lines forming under my eyes. They are imperceptible for the most part, but I know they’re there. Also, taxi drivers and street vendors sometimes call me Senora. Sometimes I get nostalgic about all the creativity that’s been lost over the years. I think I could write a better children’s story when I was seven than I can now. I sometimes wish I could take joy again in cutting construction paper and coloring with crayons again. Playing barbies and pretending to be a baby deer or bear just wouldn’t be as fun at 27 as it was at seven. In other words, I think that until I have children of my own, I will never remember exactly what it feels like to be a three, seven, or ten year-old kid and there’s no going back.
On a related note, happy birthday to my cousin Adriana!