This morning in the shower as I was mentally making a “To Do” list for my pizza pajama party this evening my mind wandered to parties in general. The kinds of parties I like to host (dinner parties) are rarely the kind of parties I’m invited to. I’ve never been the type of person who could handle night after night out at the bars or even social obligation after social obligation. I need time to recharge and I am constantly amazed by people who can jump from one social event to another seamlessly. You Gatsbys of the world, I’m impressed! I started to question my favorite methods of entertaining and then my preferred activities as a whole.
I heavily prefer spending time one on one with a friend, followed by in a small group and tend to dread large group functions.
I love dinner parties and slumber parties and brunch dates but a giant pool party, or typical early-twenty-something house party makes me feel uncomfortable.
As I often do, I asked if something was wrong with me. I worried my mind and preferences were at odds with my age and the stage of life I was supposed to be at. At dinner the other evening with a few friends my boyfriend and I disagreed over inappropriate behavior on behalf of another party.
“It’s just because they’re young” I argued defensively.
“You’re the same age and you don’t act like that” he countered. While I should have taken his defense at a compliment it spun around in my mind for a few days and reemerged this morning in the shower, as heavier thoughts tend to. So what does it mean to be 23 anyway?
Does being 23 mean dancing on tables at bars, “forgetting” to wear sunscreen in favor of the perfect tan, wearing crop tops and mini skirts and obsessing over every detail of the Kardashian clan’s lives? Or does being 23 mean settling in to your first job post grad? Does it mean subtly hinting to your boyfriend about that shiny ring on the cover of the Tiffany’s catalogue? Does it mean exchanging your underwear from Pink to the lacier (black-er) version from Victoria’s Secret? Does it mean dinner parties and game nights over stumbling into bed at 3:00am? Or does 23 mean something different all together?
For me age has almost always been arbitrary with exceptions of the legal privileges and ramifications that accompany certain ages. Of course I’ve grown in wisdom and maturity, but as a caveat the more acquired “wisdom” I gain the more I realize how naive and inexperienced I still am. To me 23 isn’t about no longer being able to dance to Taylor Swift’s “22” (though I did replay the song several times the day before my 23rd birthday) and it isn’t about prolonging a college lifestyle nor diving head first into the cliche ideals of adulthood but rather about embracing my own likes and dislikes despite their stereotyped “age”.
To me 23 means still obsessing over every move Taylor Swift makes but rolling my eyes anytime anyone mentions a Kardashian.
23 means a serious focus on progressing my career with an equally serious focus on enjoying the adventure and spontaneity of life.
23 means not caring about the hangers in my apartment matching even though my boyfriend can’t even open my closet due to his disgust with my assorted and multicolored plastic hanger collection.
23 means cooking myself dinner (thanks Blue Apron) more often than getting take out Thai and hot bar from Whole Foods but doesn’t mean I can’t count Starbucks oatmeal as a healthy balanced breakfast.
23 means caring about my skin enough to wear sunscreen and moisturizer but not enough for preventative botox…I mean really?
23 means obsessing over the coordinating desk supplies and notebooks for my office almost as much as I obsess over the actual work.
23 means still looking at the Pottery Barn teen section and being okay with your (totally adult looking) bedspread being from the children’s section at Target.
23 means reading a balance of teen lit like Divergent and The Hunger Games and The Selection (#embarassing) with books of a little more literary merit like The Golden Notebook and Headscarves & Hymens and knowing that there is even room on the list for Holly Madison’s Down The Rabbit Hole (curios minds want to know)!
23 doesn’t mean rushing to the alter but it doesn’t mean speed dating every guy you swipe right to on Tinder either because your age isn’t defined on your favorite way to spend a Friday night or whether you prefer Forever 21 to J.Crew. You shouldn’t feel guilty for your dedication to The Bachelor nor your insistence that pink will ALWAYS be your signature color. I don’t think of age the way I used to in the sense that I don’t believe everyone should embrace the same stages at the same ages but rather that we should remain unapologetically ourselves as we grow and change. Maybe at this stage I don’t love late nights out filled with fruity cocktails and flirty boys but I can’t deny the allure of a sleepover and I couldn’t resist asking my dinner party guests to dress strictly to my theme (which just so happened to be pajamas).
What are your thoughts on age? How do you embrace who you are?
P.S. It is NOT my birthday, I just happen to be contemplating age and having a party. Sorry for the confusion, I’m still thankful for the happy wishes though (: