Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On Feeling Old

I'm tired of hearing people saying "ohmygosh, I feel so old!" Naturally this is being said a lot as my 10 year high school reunion is impending. Come on guys, we're not even 30. Yes, I've muttered the terrible cliche myself from time to time, although I truly don't feel OLD. I do however, feel like I'm 10 years past 18.
Myself with two of my life-long BFFs,  Jamie and Diana
We met in Kindergarten and 2nd grade and will always be just as old as each other
Let's look at that a little more closely and just what I was doing at 10 years ago at age 18, perhaps you were too:

Living - In Mom and Dad's house - rent free. My Mom is incredible and also washed all clothes and dishes, and packed both my lunches and those of my BF at the time! My Dad actually likes to iron and would iron my clothes upon request.

Driving - Mom's hand-me-down 10 year old car or Dad's minivan

Wearing - School uniforms - grey or navy skirts or pants, button down shirts, socks that cover the most risque ankle bone! Volleyball uniforms - purple spandex, folks. Clothes from Hollister - there, I said it. Plus, a pair of colored flip-flops to match every outfit. Prom dresses, college sweatshirts, sweats in public, boy's clothing (to prove their interest in me, duh)!

Doing - Working part-time as a hostess in a restaurant. Preparing to go away to college, although mostly working on decorating my dorm room and stressing over what I will decide to be when I grow up. Being really skinny without trying. Looking forward to the future.

Eating - Cafeteria lunches and PB&J sandwiches, volleyball team dinners made by parents, crap from a school vending machine. [Cooking (hardly) - grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, ramen noodles, slice and bake cookies.] 

At 18, I hadn't yet discovered fresh basil, had my first cup of coffee, or eaten a single bite with chop sticks. Never before had I baked a cake from scratch, roasted a chicken, or created a recipe of my own. I'd never been on a plane by myself, left the country, or even visited Hawaii. Some of my very best friends hadn't yet been made, although the ones who'd end up sticking around for another decade weren't yet appreciated for their loyalty.

It seems like, and was, a totally different phase of life. Reality check - I'm a married lady with a college degree, 5+ years of career experience, who's lived in PA, Hawaii, and now Washington state. Really though, I write about cooking food for fun... and someone out there is reading it, too!

To my eighteen year old self, I'd like to say a few things:
  • You're awesome! Keep those big dreams your top priority and be selfish, taking care of yourself and making your life everything you want it to be. Do it now, because you can't live this way forever.
  • These next few years will be an emotional roller coaster, so hold on tight. You'll break hearts, have yours broken, and many people will show you their true colors. When they do - believe them. Learn to accept that not everyone is meant to be in your life forever, cherish the relationships that you have for the amount of time that they're intact. Give your best self to everyone you care for and learn something from each of them. 
  • Travel, travel, travel. 
    • Go on all of those road trips across PA, to New York and New Jersey and Maryland and Connecticut. Your travels in the future will be much farther and you'll be glad you explored your own "neck of the woods" before leaving it. It will only get more expensive to do so as you get older, plus you'll be restricted by "vacation days!"
    • Fly to North Carolina and Mexico and the Bahamas on Spring Breaks and visit California and Minnesota with your family.  
  • Because I'm writing this to you from 2014, I know you rock at keeping up with your family members and taking pictures. Way to go! You'll always cherish those relationships and memories. Stop deleting the photos where you don't look just right, you superficial little %$#&*! 
There are so many differences between my 2004-self and the current me that just couldn't have come to be without a nice, long, 10-year journey! 

So, if you hear me saying that "I feel old", please swiftly remind me that it's only been 10 years since graduating high school and that each year brings new adventures, memories, friends, and celebrations to enjoy. 


  1. Oh how much I miss those purple spandex and volleyball dinners

    Cheers to another year wiser:) And as someone who is 30 (+1), it only gets betters!

  2. Alyson, thanks for the reassurance! Each year brings something new and we'll never slow time down so we might as well embrace it, right?

    I do miss those dinners, although I'm OK without the spandex :)

  3. This is so sweet and, more importantly, so true. I was the same way with not really cooking or baking much. Crazy how much can change in a decade!

  4. Thanks Katy! 10 years is a long time.