This morning I saw a tweet that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds had wed over the weekend. I had one of the biggest crushes on Ryan Reynolds in high school and college (still do!!), but figured he was a little too old for me. That might have been true back then, but not now. When I heard the announcement, my first thought was Blake Lively is two years younger than me. Somehow I missed my “perfect age” window for Ryan Reynolds. Darn.
Last week a good friend from high school announced the arrival of his beautiful baby boy on Facebook. We haven’t spoken in years, but as soon as the message popped up I was instantly taken back to the many nights we spent chatting about lost loves over milkshakes. He was afraid the girl he secretly loved would never feel the same way. As it turned out, she didn’t. The heartache took him a while to get over, but – you know what?- he did. And now he has a beautiful wife, a beautiful baby boy, and a heart full of more love and joy than I doubt that teenage pimple faced boy would ever understand.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into the grocery store near my parents’ house to pick something up. While waiting in the check-out line I made eye contact with someone I had the biggest crush on in middle school. Back then I doubt he knew I existed.. or maybe he did because he was the one who said “hi” first. It was odd talking to someone who I never had the nerve to address 15 years ago. He was cool – I wasn’t. But, he had changed, I had changed, and all those silly middle school “popular” pretenses were gone – we were just normal adults. I wonder what my 13-year-old self would have thought of that.
Growing up is weird. Plain and simple.
Sometimes I feel like I’m still a teenager and the rest of the world is growing up around me. Every time I see a marriage or pregnancy announcement, my first reaction is “wait, we’re too young for that” then I remember we’re not. I’m 9 years older than my parents were when they got married and 7 years older than they were when they had me. I graduated high school 10 years ago, college 6 years ago, and I pay all of my own bills. I live with a boy, he’s my fiance, and we have a dog. At one point I became a grown-up with the rest of them.
Still, that doesn’t stop me from drifting down memory lane every once in a while and thinking back to how life has changed (always for the better). To see how happy my friends are and know they deserve it more than anything. To know that every time we heard the phrase “it will get better” back then (and refused to believe it) they weren’t lying to us – it really does. And to know that not being popular or not ending up with our first loves would not be the end of the world.
I’m not sure what brought on this post, or what the purpose of it is, but it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. Does every late- twenty-something start thinking about this? Maybe it’s the fact my 10 year high school reunion is this year and the only way to make myself believe that it’s really happening is to rehash every event since then. When did we get so old? When did time start moving so fast? When did everyone change?
Like I said. Growing up is weird.