There is an old adage I’m sure you’ve all heard that states “Youth is wasted on the young.” The older I get, the more people I am around who share this sentiment, spending their time reminiscing about “the good ol’ days” of their teens and 20s. Strangely, considering I am morbidly horrified of becoming an old lady, I do not share this opinion. In fact, if given the options of time travelling to 10 years in the past or 10 years in the future, I wouldn’t think twice about hitting fast forward. It turns out that another old adage is true- “with age comes wisdom,” and for me, that is more valuable than the number on my driver’s license.
I’ve mentioned before that I was a real human dumpster fire back in my 20s. For any new readers who are just joining, welcome. To recap for you, let’s just say I REALLY enjoyed my college years and over-indulged in just about everything I could get my hands on, which resulted in me being a bloated, miserable troll with a DUI on my record. Thankfully I somewhat got my crap together around 28, but that decade of “decadence” wasn’t my best years, and definitely wasn’t my mother’s. The thought of living through that again seems at the very least undesirable and actually probably impossible to survive a second time. Between poor decision-making in every aspect of life and being completely irresponsible, being a 20something woman isn’t as fabulous as it sounds, no matter how few wrinkles on your forehead.
I can say at my current age of being WELL into my 30s, I have never felt better in my womanhood. I’ve lived through enough hard times that now know I am capable of surviving anything that is thrown at me. Having made it on my own through such life altering events as divorce, heartbreak, losing jobs, moving 5 hours away and COVID, I am no longer rattled by much. And in terms of my sexuality, I’ve never been more confident. When you’re young you are so insecure about who you are, especially when it comes to relationships. You don’t want to seem weird, stupid or inexperienced to a partner and the only people you probably have to compare your naked body to are the unrealistic girls in porn. At that age you want only to be liked by someone else to make up for the fact that you don’t really know how to like yourself. This makes for a very confusing time, where you’re trying to be someone else since you haven’t figured out who you truly are as a human.
There is something that happens for a woman at around 30 years old and I can’t quite describe it in words, but there is a definite shift in life. Her priorities change. Trivial, materialistic matters tend to be less pressing and keeping up with those around her and fitting in with the herd lose their appeal. From year 30 forward, year after year you lose a little more of what I like to call your “give a sh*t,” and it is hands down the greatest feeling in the world. You learn what things are actually worth caring about and what doesn’t matter at all. You stop worrying about how you compare to other women in your romantic life and start doing things that are pleasurable for you and not just for your partner. I have personally never cared for my naked body; in fact at my level of body dysmorphia I find it absolutely atrocious. But over the last year or so it occurred to me that I’ve never had someone run away screaming in horror and ask me to put my clothes back on when I was naked with them, so it can’t be that bad. And in recent months I’ve even found myself thinking “YOU’RE lucky to be here with ME pal,” which is the most obvious sign I am levelling up as a woman. Acknowledging and enforcing her worth is the most powerful thing a woman can do.
If I had one piece of advice to share with my female readers, especially the younger ones, it would be that line above- ‘acknowledge and enforce your worth.’ You ARE amazing, intelligent, capable and worthy of love, whether you feel that way or not. If you don’t like some things about yourself, you have the capacity to change them, so do it. But even if you don’t change a thing, just as you are, you are a worthwhile human being. When you know that about yourself, you stop settling for less than you deserve. You find better partners because you won’t accept people who love you less than you love yourself anymore. You find better jobs because you know the value you can add to a business. Your friend and family bonds are stronger because you know how precious your time is and refuse to waste it on stressful or unfulfilling relationships. Literally every single aspect of your life is enhanced when you finally gain true self-love and self-respect, and I think it has a lot to do with age.
There are definitely a few downsides to getting older, but definitely way more pluses. I personally feel like I am just entering my best years, and will continue to improve with age, just like my favorite red wines, and if I feel this good in my 30s I can’t imagine how amazing my 40s will be. There is such beauty in the wisdom that comes from getting older!