There is a thought I’ve been having lately. It’s been popping up due to things that I’ve realized, heard, or seen, more and more frequently. It’s practically smacking me in the face.
I’m not as young as I used to be.
It started with a general awareness about a decade ago that I felt very awkward going into American Eagle, Gap, or Abercrombie (I shutter to even pen that I shopped there. The truth is that I could only stand to stay in the store for a maximum of approximately 6 minutes because the overwhelming smell of the cologne would give me a migraine that would last 2 days. And the jeans ran big so I could buy a size 6 when I knew that I was really a size 8. Vanity. Acceptance. I digress…)
My awkwardness in those stores was really centered around the other types (read: ages) of people that shopped there, not the fit or style of the clothes being sold. I can still rock a cute AE graphic tee today if I really wanted to. But if I’m wearing it and pass an immaturely acting tweenager wearing the exact same top, I feel a sense of shame that can only be erased if the article of clothing is removed from my person.
So I just moved on and started shopping a stores like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and the like. No biggie. I made more money, I could afford nicer stuff. That alone could make me feel like being older was a definite plus.
Then, about 5 years ago, I had my makeup done by a professional and not only thought I looked so damn good and got so many complements, that I realized the only difference between what the makeup artist did to me that I don’t normally do to myself is use professional grade concealer to cover up skin imperfections and under eye bags. Sheesh. I quickly got on that with some expensive eye cream and a skin bleacher (which is working quite well BTW, if you want a recommendation message me or leave a comment). And invested in the best under eye concealer money can buy. Now I just try not to judge myself too harshly when I don’t have the time or energy to slather it on.
Continuing on to a year ago when I became a home owner. There was a time when I would rather throw my hard earned money at the latest Coach bag rather than bank it to get my living room painted in the most en vogue color Benjamin Moore has to offer and purchase a comfy cozy sectional from Arhaus. And now I unabashedly request new kitchen gadgets for my birthday rather than fashionable accessories. The only sad thing about this scenario is that furniture and rugs and paint are way more expensive than Jimmy Choos. So totally unforch.
My latest realization was just a few weeks ago when some friends were talking about their kids in middle school and how crazy patterned tights were “in”. I didn’t feel old because I think crazy patterned tights are overly loud and unnecessary. I started thinking about how important trends were growing up in grade school. I was an 80’s and 90’s kid, so phases of rolled up jeans around the ankles, followed by fit-and-flare jeans, followed by the ultimate wide leg were the only way to go. You would be judged harshly otherwise!
And now, doesn’t it seem like no matter what kind of jeans you want to wear – wide leg, skinny, bootcut, distressed, high waisted, PLEATED (forgodssakes), whatever… that any style is really acceptable as long as it is flattering for you? I feel as though the level of acceptance about what is stylish and not stylish has relaxed tremendously between the time I was an adolescent and now. I always thought society had relaxed it’s expectations of following the trend. That just because skinny jeans came into style, that didn’t mean all other types were suddenly excluded. If they look good on you, no matter the style, you should continue to perpetuate it. Own your own style.
But, as a dear friend called me out on, this age of acceptance is just age. Being comfortable with yourself, your style, and being accepting of other people’s is just maturity.
And now I find myself happily surrounded by my wonderfully sophisticated Waynesboro Taupe walls at home, shopping at Anthropologie, wearing Lululemon 89.4% of the time, and donning glasses above minimalist makeup but most definitely concealer. I’m not old- I don’t think I ever will be. I strive to be in a perpetual state of youthfulness- a state of mind. I work out. I feel good in my own skin. I know who I am. And I’m so glad I’m not as young as I used to be.