tom hanks

I am turning 27 soon. I wouldn’t say that qualifies me as old, but just like anyone else, I am definitely getting older. And I’m starting to feel it. There are signs I encounter almost daily.

Here are some of the signs I’ve experienced or witnessed that indicate you are getting older and/or maturing:

  1. You look back on the not-so-distant past, like when you were in late high school or college, and wish that you could travel back in time, slap yourself in the face, and scream “STOP BEING SUCH A F**KING IDIOT!”
  2. Many of your friends are getting married, having children and purchasing homes, and they’re doing so in what seems to be a mentally-stable mindset.
  3. You have realized that as your friends reach these milestones, you no longer want to say “I’m too young for that” when people ask you why you aren’t in a similar position. Instead, your response has become something like “F**k off, you prick. Mind your own goddamn business. I’ll blow all my money on a wedding if and when I’m damn good and ready, and I’ll still invite you, too, but I’ll tell the bartenders you are not allowed to have free booze. Dick.”
  4. Activities and pastimes you used to believe were lame are now the things you look forward to the most. I can’t tell you how excited I get to come home at night and just read in my bed while I indulge in some scotch or red wine before butt-chugging some Z-Quil and hitting the sack in my high thread-count linens.
  5. Speaking of this, you are much more content now to stay in than you used to be. Fear of missing out (dreaded FOMO) pales in comparison to your fear of having to face the next day completely hung over when you have adult shit to do. You ever been to an IKEA when you’re on the alcohol withdrawal Struggle Bus? I have, and let me tell you: unless your going out got you laid the night prior, it was not worth it.
  6. You have become more enamored with making a living space into your home. You’re cleaner and more dedicated to decorating it in your chosen aesthetic, and you get pissed off when people disrespect your home space.
  7. You’ve gravitated away from the rom-com kind of romance stuff in favor of realistic coupling expectations. You realize that although romance is not at all dead, it is not something that’s going to weave its way into every facet and moment of your life, for all time. I think the saying is something like “Sometimes, at the end of the day, all you want is someone who will make you laugh, be there for you when you need him or her, and take off his or her socks when he or she bones you.”
  8. Certain things you used to do with reckless abandon, like drinking or drugs or Chinese food binges or all three at once are now done less often, and when you do indulge, you make a huge, huge deal out of it — like you’re psyching yourself up in an effort to make your wild time more significant than it ever used to be.
  9. You can sip on straight liquor or mixed drinks with no problem whatsoever, but taking a shot is a great way to make you heave your brain out.
  10. The unequivocal set of feelings that surround having sex with someone are beginning to wane. You still love it, sure, but sometimes you’re saddened by the thought that it will never be as wild or crazy or mind-altering as the times you first experienced it as a youngster.
  11. Your metabolism and general energy levels are both beginning to turn on you.
  12. You find yourself unintentionally making grunting and groaning noises when you are standing up or sitting down.
  13. There are times when you feel like your career is blending more into your life outside of it than ever before. (For me, this happened when I found myself using marketing buzzwords during a sexual encounter.)
  14. Your muscles are often sore, and your joints creak and ache, especially when the weather is changing.
  15. It’s becoming more and more common for you to make offhand comments about how you’re getting old, and to be chastised by older people within earshot for doing so. But then those old people give you a look that acknowledges that around your age was when they started feeling the same way, and things only get… older from here.
  16. You have started viewing expenditures in relation to how many hours you had to work (after state and federal taxes) to make a purchase. Which has helped you discover a new level of respect for your parents, who for some reason acquiesced to buying you shit in adolescence that had “American Eagle” boldly stitched or screen-printed somewhere on it.
  17. You have begun actively saving and investing in your retirement fund, in hopes that you will not die at your desk.
  18. You have visited rural or suburban areas and have thought to yourself that maybe mowing the grass once a week on your own property would be meditative and kind of nice.
  19. When in the midst of doing something wild, you wonder why you are doing it and if it is even close to being worth it.
  20. You have begun to grow more and more confused by what is becoming popular in culture, and you wonder when the songs you have loved most of your life will become labeled “oldies.”
  21. There are young children popping up all around you and you find yourself hoping that they will not progress into the same things you did at such an early timeline—that they will keep their innocence for much longer, and be better for it in the long run. You want to teach them not to make the same mistakes as you, but you’re unaware how to preach to them practices that you did not practice yourself.