When I graduated university I remember having two very distinct thoughts while sitting on stage at my convocation.
- It is so fucking hot outside, and
- My life is never going to be the same
I didn’t have this thought in a sad way. I didn’t feel like the best years had passed and I was now entering a downward spiral of grown up life. I simply thought that my life was immediately going to change; that my former life and my adult life were two very VERY separate things and my new life was destined to be full of calorie tracking and high heels. Cocktails and coffee mugs. Car insurance and a live-in boyfriend.
I would wear pencil skirts, live in a condo and reapply my lipstick every time I drank a cup of coffee. I’d stop shopping at thrift stores and start reading the paper. I’d get a dog and name it Lois and I’d walk it after work (in my pencil skirt and high heels, obviously).
My life of top knots and overflowing laundry bins was over. No more midnight KD and oversized tshirts. I was a grown up now.
Four years into my adult life and yes, a lot has changed. I’ve stopped eating Kool-Aid powder and started drinking beer that costs more than $9.95 a pack. I’ve accepted that the good conditioner is simply going to cost a few extra dollars and it is, in fact, worth it.
I’ve figured out what makes me happy and who deserves my time. I’ve stopped caring about being seen and started prioritizing my daily water intake. I’ve found myself and lost myself and found myself again. I’ve loved a lot of people and learned from all of them.
I’ve become the grown up I was meant to be. My life is not the same.
But regardless of how I’ve settled into my new and improved self, there’s still a lot of things I do that my 21-year-old self never saw coming. When I pictured my nails-done-hair-did-I’m-an-adult-now lifestyle, I guess I didn’t take into account that old habits do, in fact, die hard. And perhaps sometimes, these quirks are simply what make us into the wonderfully weird people that we are, grown up or not.
I still watch Friends reruns
Between all the Netflix original series, documentaries and new releases, I still head down to Central Perk with my posse on a regular basis. I’m literally watching it right now. And the weirdest part is I STILL find it hilarious. I know every line that’s coming yet I still laugh out loud when it happens. And not a lame little har har. I laugh. Out. Loud. I just caught a glimpse of myself laughing in the mirror and it was horrifying.
I still pretend I’m on Ellen DeGeneres
This all started many moons ago on a random drive down back country roads. The radio was on. The windows were down. And I was imagining myself as a guest on Ellen. I thought she was hilarious and the feeling was mutual, and together we laughed and learned and danced on stage. She told me I was lovely and I said “you too” and that was that.
10 years later this daydream is still as strong as ever. I imagine it more often than I’d care to admit, and it’s embarrassing, and It’s bizarre that TEN YEARS LATER this is still a thought that runs through my head on a weekly [daily] basis.
I still listen to the same song over and over (and over) again
It just happens. I mean, I like to think I have a pretty diverse taste in music. I love Josh Groban as much as I love Fleetwood Mac and that weird little band we saw at the Dakota. But regardless – I still get caught up in a single song at a time. And I put this song on repeat. And I listen to it and daydream and press repeat and daydream again. This habit started when I was eight and caught up in Shania Twain’s ‘From this moment on’. I sat on the porch with my headphones on, daydreaming that I was getting married and my husband and I were singing this to each other in front of the entire crowd.
Thankfully, my daydreams have changed – but the habit hasn’t. Every week (month?) it’s a new song on repeat. Currently it’s a jam from Walk the Moon. This daydream does not involve a wedding, but it does involve a convertible, a mountain and a camera crew.
I still need my Mom
Because the cure for a broken arm or a broken heart is Mom – and that simply never stops being the case.
I still don’t know the proper order of 01/02/15
Is it day month year? Month day year? Does it matter? Do people care? I thought I would know and I thought I would care to know, but I don’t, and I’ve moved on, and my 21-year-old self would be truly shocked by this.
I still feel insecure
I always figured being an adult = being confident. You had your career going and your skin had finally cleared up and you had your shit together. And although this might be the case, you still have days where you make a joke and no one laughs and you think you are a pathetic loser. But now you’ve figured life out enough to know that this isn’t actually the case, and all it takes is a quick coffee break to move on back to your awesome hilarious self.
I still rock the top knot
Because some things are just too damn convenient (and AWESOME) to say goodbye to.
I’m still single
This would honestly be the biggest shocker to my younger self (how conceited, I know). But for much of my teenage life, growing up was simultaneous with settling down. I figured once Lois and the pencil skirt were in place, the natural next step was a fiancé.
I’ve since learned that my priorities lie in other places. And that’s not bad or good. It’s not anything. It’s simply the path my life has taken, and has allowed bigger and better doors to open instead. And I’ve loved these doors. And I’m so happy I had the opportunity to open them. And other people had different doors open. And they probably loved opening theirs as much as I loved opening mine. And that is why life is just so damn fun.
When I look back on my newly-graduated self, I’m baffled by how different these two people are – yet there are so many things that haven’t changed. And one day they might, or perhaps they won’t, and I suppose the only way to find out is to keep living and see what happens. Oh – and hope to heaven that Ellen DeGeneres FINALLY gets the hint and pulls me onto her show. Stay tuned.