Recently, I was getting my eyebrows done and the woman doing them noticed there was a small patch of hair that was having trouble growing back. She started telling me all these products I could get that would make the hair grow back faster.
She told me, ‘you should start using these products now because once you get older, it will be harder for the hair to grow back. Your hair will probably stop growing around 27, but you’ve got time. How old are you? 24?’
‘No, I’m 27,’ I replied.
With a look of horror on her face, she just said, ‘oh,’ and finished doing my eyebrows.
For the first time, I admitted to myself that I was aging.
I used to associate the word ‘aging’ with people over the age of 50. I thought the whole ‘aging’ thing would happen to me when I was in my 50s and wrinkles would start to appear on my body from the years I spent as an idiot who didn’t wear sunscreen and gray hairs would start growing on my head (and maybe my vagina, does that happen?). Never did I ever think that ‘aging’ was something that would start happening in my late 20s.
Now I know that at age 27 I am by no means old, but I am older than I used to be. I certainly don’t look the same as I did when I was 21 — nor do I have an interest in all of the same things I did when I was 21.
Here are 7 ways I didn’t realize meant I was getting older until now.
1. My face lost that ‘glow’ it had when I was in my early 20s.
When I look at pictures of myself in college compared to now, I kind of look the same, give or take a few pounds and a significantly better makeup job. The only real difference is that I lost the glow that used to radiate off my skin. Back then, I could forfeit wearing makeup and my skin would still shine. Now, I have to cake on foundation and my forehead still turns into a Wifi symbol when I smile.
2. I have acne, but not teenage acne — adult acne.
Having ‘good skin’ in my youth led me to not take care of it because I didn’t need to. But now that ignorance has caught up to me and my skin is not happy. And neither am I. Having pimples at 27 is not fun.
3. I am always tired.
The other day I tried to blame my fatigue on possibly having lime disease, but ultimately it’s because I am aging (and also because I am a hypochondriac). I just don’t have the energy I used to have when I was in college going from class to work to cheerleading practice to the bar and doing it all again the next day while running on no sleep. Thank God for coffee.
4. I can’t eat like I used to.
Nor can I diet like I used to. In college, I lost a bunch of weight, so when I tried to lose the weight at 27 by following the same diet I did back then, I gained weight instead. I recently went on Weight Watchers and lost a few pounds, but following that diet is not nearly the same as my diet back in the day. Also, I should note, I gained those pounds back the minute I started drinking again. Cheers to slower metabolisms.
5. I also can’t drink like I used.
In my early 20s, I went out all the time, during the week and over the weekend. But now, I go out one night over the weekend, drink significantly less than I did a few years ago, and I can’t function the next day. Hangovers not only exist the day after a night of drinking, but they hang out the entire week following. Go awayyyy.
6. I don’t even enjoy drinking like I used to.
Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy drinking. I probably enjoy drinking a little too much. But a night of multiple vodka shots and blacking out does not sound like a ‘fun night’ to me anymore. I enjoy getting together and catching up with friends, whether that includes dancing at a place that isn’t college-crowded or getting tipsy on a couch.
7. I’ve accepted all of the above for what it is.
Part of getting older is realizing that you’re changing and being okay with it. I used to be scared the things above would happen to me, but now I’m happy they have. I do what I like, and I feel healthy. What more could I ask for? And while the changes to come when I’m in my 30s, 40s, and older still scare me, I know that when they start to happen, I’ll be okay with them because they’ll feel natural. This all the progression of life after all.
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