Confession: I’m 34 going on about 12, and I’m OK with that.
Age is kind of a weird thing. I don’t feel defined by my age, that my own personal code of decision making or behavior isn’t what the norm dictates (“act your age”, etc.) and I’ve come to recognize and embrace that about myself. Always one to saunter comfortably towards adulthood rather than sprint towards it, I’m among very the few from my high school cohort who hasn’t been married and/or had kids, and it’s something I actually really like about who I am and where I’m at in life.
Did anyone else watch the Marnie/Charlie episode of Girls this season? That ep ki-hi-HILLED me, and not only because it was a beautiful story and a sort of ‘mini-movie’ in itself, but because Marnie’s declaration of being “25 and a half and having SO much more life experience now” made me laugh out loud. (She was, however, dead on when she said that all 22-year-olds are assholes.) I remember very clearly turning 25 and thinking I was so old, that 18 was so far away and that I’d finally figured things out, but had I really? (Spoiler alert: I didn’t know shit.) I kicked and flailed my way through my twenties, leaving several failed relationships, interstate moves and job changes in my wake. And now I understand why people say that things get better once you hit 30.
In an uncharacteristically adult moment.
Here’s something: getting older makes you realize that physical beauty certainly is fleeting, and your intellectual capital is what matters. Your ability to forge meaningful friendships, to be a valuable contributor at work and at home and to know how to navigate a new place or situation: these are the things that will take you far in life and get you places that you dream of going. You give fewer f**ks about what other people think and embrace you for you, for all the weird quirks and idiosyncrasies that are your brand, your personal trademark. If only I could go back and tell that to ‘early 20s Liz’, who was just as goofy and wide-eyed about the world as she is now, but a whole lot more insecure and concerned with what everyone else had to say about her life.
I’ve got a good 10 years on most of the other ladies who are blogging on fashion and style, and I kind of love that. I don’t really call myself a “fashion blogger” anyway: in fact, I’m not too sure how to classify myself in this space (“writer who’s into fashion and style” is the most accurate, I think). It’s funny: once you truly start becoming comfortable in your own skin and celebrating who you are rather than constantly self-editing and comparing yourself to everyone else, you learn to embrace others for who they are and celebrate others’ successes rather than let the jealousy monster take over and ruin everyone’s good time.
I’ll be turning 35 while I’m in Colombia, far away from my friends and family in the States, and I think it couldn’t be more apropos. It represents independence, freedom, and the deliberate choices I’ve made to get to where I want to be in life. My path doesn’t look like that of many others, but it’s me living my life in the most authentic way I know how.
I hope you’re on your own path to your most authentic life, and I hope you have support along the way.