Somewhere between 30 and 32, that asshole crow left imprints of his feet by my eyes. And the combination of my near-sightedness and skeptical scowl stamped the number “11” between my brows. At the cosmetics counter, I can no longer flippantly ask the sales lady for normal-combination skin products. I’m eyeing up the anti-aging serums now. I turned 32 last week and while my skin is dryer, I’m happier and more confident than I was at 22.
At 22, life was definitely more spontaneous and I do love an unexpected adventure, but most of the 22-year old surprises I remember were along the lines of “surprise, you overdrew your checking account again!” “Surprise that guy you thought was a total catch is actually a total douchebag.” “Surprise you’re waking up with a hangover next to an empty pizza box and by the gurgling in your stomach, it looks like you finished the whole pie, girl!” The ups and downs of life at 22 required a thick skin, despite the fact that it may have had more elasticity.
Sometimes I miss the 22 year old drama when I feel like the only way my 32 year old self experiences it is by watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey or having some Pinot Grigio and rooting against the Packers with my husband in the room. (That Pinot is like liquid courage, I tell ya). What I don’t miss about 22 is that unsteadiness..that feeling of being afraid to be your genuine self with no apologies–for fear of rejection. Insecurities still linger at 32, but there is a greater authenticity and less worry about what people think of you. Perhaps my older self does not have as much energy to care about other people’s opinions of me or maybe my husband and baby’s approval act as a stabilizer.
A lot has happened in 10 years besides my skin aging. I graduated from college. I moved out on my own. I gained and lost weight. I gained and lost love. I waitressed. I studied. I went to school some more. I got my heart broken a couple of times. I met a guy who put it back together and has protected it ever since. I gained friends and lost others. I made some awesome decisions and some pretty crappy ones. I fell apart and got it together. I worked hard. I found yoga. He put a ring on it and we got married. I got pregnant and ate chocolate for three meals a day. I gave birth to a baby even though I assured the doctor that “I can’t do this!” The baby cried. A lot. And I almost went off the deep end. Got some support, went back to work, and regained my sanity-mostly.
Emphasis on the mostly part.
I’m not trying to say wrinkles are awesome. I will still buy overpriced serums to try to recapture that reckless 22 year old’s complexion. But if that’s all I want from her 10 years later, that’s pretty damn good.

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