Growing Up or Down and Sometimes Sideways

Being young rules, except you don't know it does until you're old. I always say the reason why my brain doesn't work correctly is that I consciously know that things aren't black and white but I wish super hard for it to always be that simple. Especially this one: you're young and then you're old and you're supposed to have it figured out. Because if young people had it figured out, there wouldn't be any Kesha songs.

I am at the end of my twenties. That sounds scary and surreal and kind of not okay. It's not that I'm some sort of Peter Pan club girl that can't stop wearing minis and stumbling around in stilettos.
I think the weird part is that you get to an age that was supposed to be some sort of milestone. And it ends up just being another birthday.
Here is what my 19 year old brain thought about age:
23: climbing the corporate ladder, wearing fashionable pencil skirts and wedges driving to the office in a brand new vehicle
25: officially allowed to buy Ann Taylor clothes, rich enough to afford it
27: married, one and done kid, rich, stepped my game up to Banana Republic
31: dead

23: still in undergrad being paid student worker wages, splitting a studio attic apartment with my boyfriend. Totally broke, driving my dads old car, shopping at Forever 21 and Target
25: finishing up my masters, still driving my dads old car, still broke, shopping at Forever 21 and Target
27: married, one year of teaching under my belt, driving a new to me 10-year old Ford Focus, still not shopping at Ann Taylor, still broke and shopping at target, feel old at forever 21 (maybe its the name?)
And I plan on living past 31. Please?

None of my wild and crazy ideals about my life came true exactly how I planned. I somehow thought it would all just work out after college and I'd be a grown up with a 401k and a wine cellar.

That didn't happen. And I'm glad. Because grown ups, how I always envisioned them, are lame.
They don't think anything is funny. They have heartburn. They don't dance unless they're drinking and even then it's more of a shaking twitching movement. They yell a lot and get tired easily. They hate loud music and are always frowning. They don't have any good friends. And they never buy new clothes.

These are all unfair stereotypes, partly supplied by sitcom families and young adult fiction. But either way, I don't think the point is to have it all figured out or get a wine cellar. If you think someone has it all figured out, they are either a wise old sage about some things or they are liars. We are all lost and scared about it. That's the truth. But I think I get so into trying to be a grownup that it actually gives me heartburn. Do we really have to lose our silly while we're trying to keep it together? Or are we just trying to flex our frown lines because its easier to complain than see what is all of the good?

I read something on Pinterest this weekend, the latter-20-something's version of clubbing, that needs to be shared and discussed. It was longer than this, but this part was the best.

"There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either."

I have had a hell of a few months and have done nothing but wish I was somewhere else. I've wished I was younger, with less responsibilities and bills, so I could just quit my job and work at Target. But I think, in these times, it's best to just take a breath and sing a song in a squirrel voice. No really. Get silly. Use your wise old brain to pay your bills on time, but give your adult self some slack. Tell yourself that its okay if you aren't married with kids yet, if you aren't "there" yet, because where is that? Do something dumb and make a mistake. (As long as you don't end up in a Mexican jail and your dad still talks to you, it's not technically a mistake.)

Don't turn your wild side into stories you recount with old friends. Rock some big hair or dress up when you're feeling bad about yourself, even if its Tuesday, especially if its Tuesday. Don't take yourself so seriously. Laugh at fart jokes and try to balance a spoon on your nose. And don't stay at a job you don't love just because you think that's what you're supposed to do as an adult.
Don't tell yourself that its not that easy.
It is.
Cancel your cable bill, stay out of the mall, make your own coffee and live simpler. Then quit your job and become a whatever. Don't forget what it felt like to take chances and get exactly what you wanted.

The best part about being young was that you had permission to make mistakes, but you still do. And finding a balance, between your wild and impulsive beautiful self and your smarter, more experienced self, is the best part about getting older. Otherwise, you'll just turn into a middle-aged woo girl at Club Soda, growing sideways (which is exactly how middle aged woo girls get anywhere when they're drunk).

My best friend Lindsay told me a long time ago, that whatever you do, rock it. If you're a waiter, rock being a waiter. If you're a dentist, rock that dentistry. And I'm coming into this as I work from home til 9 tonight, meaning I'm cutting out cardboard stars to attach to straws so my students can have magic wands to accompany our story tomorrow. Because I'm sick of crying about how hard it is and how I miss how it used to be. Save the crying for something sad. Now is the time to dance and sing and be thankful and wave your magic wand and make up magic words and laugh til you cry happy things.

Here's to trying really hard to do that.