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Growing Up is Weird

by Meghann on September 12, 2012

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.

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life September 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Agree….when did I become an almost 30 year old? Hmm, I often still feel 19.
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2 Katie D. September 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Totally agree!!!

For years it seemed like all athletes were older than me and poof! So many are now younger than me! Like my favorite pitcher is 22 – TWENTY TWO!!! At first it was like “oh thats just a year younger”….umm… is FIVE years!

3 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale September 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Heck Meghann — I’m already 23 and I’m already thinking that way!! It’s the same way that I can’t quite believe that it’s the MIDDLE of September already. Or the way that my “baby” brother is now 19 (?!) and 6’3 (when in my mind I still picture him as a 5 year old and able to fit perfectly under my chin for a hug). Time just keeps moving … I first realized this when I turned 20 (that almost seems young now?!) and freaked myself into a panic attack. Now, I know that time will pass, but I have two choices, keep moving and changing and accepting things as they come, or watch it pass me by. I’ve spent too many years watching, this year has been my action year, and I couldn’t be more excited!! πŸ™‚
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4 kirsten September 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

My husband met Ryan Reynolds last week, he went into his job (we live in the same area that Ryan and Blake bought there house in.) I was so jealous! My husband called me at work to tell me and said “he was so handsome in person, even I got flustered” lol.

5 Lindsay September 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

LOL Man crush! πŸ™‚

6 Nicole September 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for years, never really commented, but this post struck a chord with me. Even though I’ve been with my now husband for 8 years I could only bring myself to get married one year ago, I always felt too young (28 now). Going to friends weddings was so odd to me, never felt like we were mature enough to make these decisions.

Growing up is too weird.

7 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes September 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Growing up is *so* weird. It’s finally starting to dawn on me that I graduated from college and am heading into the “real world”–yikes! When my mom told me the manager of my high school basketball team is now a senior, I couldn’t believe it; where has the time gone?
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8 Alexandra September 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

This post really hit home with me. When I turned 20 last January, I couldn’t believe it. I was no longer a teenager. I spent nearly a week trying to wrap my head around the fact that I had entered the next decade of my life. I still feel like I’m 16 most days, but more so when I’m home from college. It’s funny how we revert right back to our old selves in certain situations.
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9 Carolyn September 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I graduated college 5 years ago in May. Our reunion is coming up in November, and I keep thinking “How am I old enough for a reunion?! Only old people go to those. College wasn’t THAT long ago.”

Then I remember it was two years ago I made fun of my boyfriend for going to his five year. I guess I am that old. Weird, indeed.
Carolyn recently posted..No one knows what to say about a beautiful boy who died.

10 Leanne @ The Skinny Architect September 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm

We are the same age so I find that most of your posts are relatable to me in some facet of my life. What you posted about is something that I have thought about often. Looking back, high school wasn’t that long ago, but I have grown so much as a person over the last 10 years.
It’s funny because I ran into my grade school crush at a work event a few years ago. In high school he wouldn’t have given me the time of day but that day he came over and gave me a big hug like we’ve been friends for years. When you say that you still feel like a teenager and the whole world is growing up around you, I completely relate. Thanks for the post, it’s nice to know others share the same thoughts that I do about getting older.
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11 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers September 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

i spoke with a woman over the weekend that told me she finally felt like “herself” and like a real grown up at 37. i’m still waiting, too! πŸ™‚
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12 Oceanside Chiropractor September 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Yes I agree! I don’t even feel 30 at all. I love growing up with my kids. They help me feel that I’m younger inside and out. Do you think that you’ve grown to what you always wanted to become?

13 Kathy September 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Such a GREAT post…I think I will have my 13 and 15 yr old girls read it when they get home from school..

I try to tell them all the time to RELAX and ENJOY b/c it really does go by so fast and it really isn’t as important (in life) as it seems right now. I guess they are the lessons every one needs to learn and experience though. ;-( or πŸ˜‰

14 Jess from Team Awesome September 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I think people often feel like this. I remember my senior year of high school, we were talking about how every senior class before us seemed to be so much older, and more grown up. We discussed it with our 60 year old English teacher, and she agreed that other “grown ups” her age seem so much older until you get there. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one feels as old as they “should” or how “grown up” they perceive other to be.
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15 Lindsay September 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I’m 32 and my fiance & I recently bought our first house. When I was sitting in the room, signing the book of papers, I kept thinking, I’m too young to buy a house, they’re going to find out I’m too young and then not allow us to have it because they’re gonna think we’re irresponsible. But nope, no one said that we’re too young and things preceded as needed and we have had a house for almost 2 months now!

16 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Still being in school really makes me feel like I’m younger than everyone! I depend 100% on loans and my parents! I don’t know what I’d do without them!
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17 Julianna @ Julianna Bananna September 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm

it definitely makes me happy to hear that it WILL get better! i know it’s going to take a lot of work to get there but i’m excited to see where life takes me πŸ™‚

18 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength September 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Growing up is totally weird. If it makes you feel any younger my 10 year COLLEGE reunion is coming up. That’s old.
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19 Christine September 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I’m with everyone else. I turn 25 next month and am trying to figure out how I turned into a grown-up that lives with a boy (and our cat), pays bills, buys things like insurance, and has a real job (health educator) where I see patients that listen and do what I say (don’t they know I’m just a little girl!). I think the first time it really hit me was when I had car trouble last year and couldn’t just have my dad deal with it!

20 Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel September 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

In high school, my husband was captain of the football team and dated the head cheerleader. I was a huge drama nerd and dated a guy who shopped in Hot Topic. We never would have even been FRIENDS in high school, but now neither of us could ever imagine being married to anyone else. Growing up is definitely weird.
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21 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I totally feel the same way. I just turned thirty. I had a baby last year and I felt like I was too young to have one, yet my mother had three by the time she was 28. I think I will feel like I’m 21 forever.

22 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile September 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I know I’m still young, but I think about this ALL the time. All my friends are turning 21, or are already 21, some already have babies (crazy), and I can’t believe I graduate college in about a year or so. I swear, time flies as you get older!
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23 Annette @FitnessPerks September 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm

SO so true. I had a ‘sort of’ friend in HS (she was super popular, I was just nice) who wasn’t really a ‘friend’ and now we FB back & forth & she even sent a wedding gift. SO weird!
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24 Maureen September 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I completely understand. I’ve spent most of this year helping various friends usher in the big 3-0 and it still hasn’t completely sunk in that I’m staring down this milestone in less than three months. I feel like I should still be prepping for SATs and writing college essays rather than dealing with 401Ks and life insurance. Time moves too quickly I think.
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25 Lindsey September 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Im 25, 26 next month and I dont have it together. College was a mess for me and I’m currently in my last semester of school. I hate my waitressing job I was engaged and called off my wedding. My 16 year old self could not comprehend the challenges I’ve faced. I feel like I have matured in ways other people my age never will. I always think “how did i get here? I was just a 17 year old wishing for the world.” I hate that I am a “grown up” that doesn’t have it together, but I feel like ill be that much more appreciative when I do. Thank you for this post.

26 Allie @Being Allie September 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I agree! I have been thinking about this lately…I am 25 and I really don’t feel 25! I still feel like I am so much younger! Growing up feels odd!
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27 Amanda September 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm

This definitely hits home with me too. I’m 22, just graduated college and will be starting my first full-time job soon. Some of my friends from high school are already married, and some even have kids! It’s so weird to think about. I still feel perpetually 17 and way too young to even think about those things being right around the corner.
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28 Amanda @RunToTheFinish September 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I think this all the time!! I mean I’m 31 now, but it only dawns on me occasionally that I really am that old…maybe it’s because we do make life choices later
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29 Lindsey September 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I get weirded out when police officers, lawyers, and doctors are my age or younger.

30 Meghann September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I know what you mean. My twin brother is a DOCTOR! He can prescribe medicine and treat people – that’s weird!

31 Jessica A. September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I was thinking about this just the other day when my 16 year old brother called me at work and asked if I would bring him the math homework he left on my parents’ counter that morning. I pulled into the high school I attended – already thinking there’s no way it’s been so many years since I graduated! – and as he rounded a corner to meet me I realized that he is that tall good-looking upperclassman that all the high school girls drool over. It was such a weird time warp to think that, in my head, I was the one dreaming about those boys just yesterday, and now my baby brother is one of them!

32 Katie @ A Full Plate September 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I agree! A few of my friends and I have always had the same thoughts so your not alone. Growing up IS weird. I still can’t get over seeing all my high school classmates marriage photos and baby photos. I feel like WE’RE still babies! The weirdest thing though is seeing ex-boyfriends from high school get married. It’s an odd feeling, but I’m so happy for them that they found love…just weird to think about my history with them. And interesting to see who they’ve ended up with πŸ™‚

33 Simone September 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I know what you mean… Lately I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by growing up. This year I got a new ‘real’ job, bought a place and am in a very grown up relationship. I think the as more adultish things fall in place we feel a stronger tug to think about how far we’ve come and how easy we use to have it!
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34 Natalie @ Free Range Human September 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

You’re right….it is quite simply weird to be a grown-up. Sometimes I find myself doing something completely simple like making dinner or going on trip with just my husband, and I think “Wait! I’m too young to be doing this!” The real trip happens when I realize I’m actually not. I think the beauty of the situation though is that, weird or not, when I stop to evaluate everything that adulthood has brought, I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s hoping everyone “our age” feels the same!
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35 Bethany September 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I too completely agree with you on this. I’m almost 32 and I still feel like I’m not what I pictured myself to be at this age. I’ve been happily with my guy for almost 5 years but we’re not married and don’t necessarily see it in the future, same feelings about having kids. But i watched my younger sister get married a few years ago and totally thought the whole time “she’s not old enough for this!” (she’s 28 so she was 26 when she got married) and i can’t even imagine what i’m going to think if she gets pregnant. While i consider myself to be mature i definitely also feel like a teenager trapped in this not-teenage body. I’m doing some job searching currently because we’re going to be moving soon from TN back to FL (Orlando wassup! gah, there goes my inner teen!) and i even find myself second guessing applying for higher level positions (when i have a master’s degree and 5 years of experience in my field) because i’m not “old” enough to do that. Maybe it’s a “you’re only as old as you feel” thing? If so i definitely want to keep that mentality about my health and fitness – i want to be one of the old ladies you see kicking butt in races and at the gym!

36 MelanieF September 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

Totally agree with you! I’m 36, and I’ve been with my guy for almost 8 years. We’re not married (I’m from Quebec, it’s very common here) nor do we plan to have kids. I still feel like a teenager trapped in a “older” woman’s body. I definitely don’t feel my age at all!

37 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Such an interesting read!

I think everyone forgets how much they’ve actually grown up. I’m 22, so I don’t see too many friends getting married or having babies yet, it is starting to happen and it always freaks me out a bit. I mean, I have trouble remembering that I’m not 16 sometimes. πŸ™‚
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38 Sonia the Mexigarian September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

My 10 year reunion was last year and it seems like only yesterday I was climbing the stairway to freshman homeroom on the third floor. I have those moments all the time, feeling I am too young for things going on around me. At times, I don’t feel like an adult, like I’m still in highschool lost and wondering what I am going to do (not a good feeling when I’m going to be 29 next month). But then there are days when I’m like “I’m an adult, I’ve got this handled”. Growing up is a strange, sometimes scary, hard and awesome, adventure.
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39 McKenzie September 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Yeah I definitely don’t feel my age! I’m your age, still in graduate school (doctorate degree) and I rent a home. So many of my friends are married, have babies, jobs and mortgages. It makes me feel a little bad about my life that I chose to be a scientist and am therefore a little delayed in my life right now.

40 Meghan @ After the Ivy League September 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Growing up is SO weird. The thing that weirds me out the most is when I think about being a kid, and my mom would make us listen to “oldies” music (70’s or 80’s music) and would watch “old” shows. Suddenly one day, I became my mom. Because my favorite music is 90’s music (which I’m sure any middle schooler or high schooler these days would consider “oldies”) and my favorite shows to reminisce about are classics like Dawson’s Creek and Roswell. The Cheers of my mom’s day. CRAZY. I’m old.
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41 Brandi@StringCheeseRunner September 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Growing up is weird. I think I seem to notice it more now that I’m getting older. Especially when I refer to high school that was 8 years ago, and college which was 4 years ago. Time flies and growing up is strange.
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42 Maureen September 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I am 32 & I still have those moments!! When I found out one of my BFF’s was pregnant last year, my first thought was “Didn’t we JUST learn to drive & weren’t we JUST driving around like we owned the road??” I am almost at my 15 year reunion and it is so weird to think that I’ve been out of high school THAT long!!
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43 Hillary September 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I think what REALLY made this hit home for me was talking with my students about September 11 yesterday. They were TWO at the time. That means that, within a couple of years, I’ll have students who weren’t even born yet. I know that’s not so much a “growing up” story as it is an “I’m really getting older” story, but MAN it hit home!
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44 Maureen September 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Oh my gosh!!! That is crazy!! Every September 11th, I think of the preschoolers I worked with at the time. I realized that this year most of them are 15 now…that is nuts!
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45 Lauren September 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Wonderful post. I feel the e x a c t same way! And just think, 10 years from now, we will know so much more and think back to our years as twenty somethings the sane way we are reminiscing about growing up now.

46 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Oh girl, I’m only a senior in college (wait, when did I become a senior??) and I have a ton of friends getting married and/or having kids. Most of the girls I graduated with are home with husbands and children right now and it kind of freaks me out a little. I’m not even 21 and I already feel like I’m way behind on life. I dunno, everyone goes at their own pace though and I think that you start realizing that once people are given the ability to choose how they want their lives to be. It’s interesting though. πŸ™‚

47 Elisabeth September 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I agree on all of it! I’m 30 & still don’t feel old enough to be married or have kids (which I’m not & I don’t πŸ˜‰ ). I still feel like a college kid most of the time, even though I graduated 8 years ago. Oh, and I’ve loved Ryan Reynolds since he was on the show Fifteen in the 90’s πŸ™‚

48 Jennifer L September 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Did I write this post?? Seriously. I’ve been thinking these exact same thoughts recently. My high school reunion is this year too…. we must be the same age. I was just thinking how much I related to this post, and then how we must be around the same age, but then I thought… well you’re getting married… I still feel too young to get married! I think I am just behind my peers… ha. Every time someone has a kid I think wow they’re really young… but no, not really. Time sure flies!!! I think late-twenties is definitely that time when we start realizing that we’re really adults with adult lives (sort of) and our youth is kind of passing…
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49 jaclyn @ justjac September 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

gosh, I just love this. this made me start tearing up and maybe okay it was a little bit champagne enthused, but seriously… I have been reflecting on these kinds of thought SO MUCH lately. this is the year i have graduated college and so I feel like I am supposed to be ‘grown’.. but it’s crazy because in the past few months, moreso than in the past few YEARS i have been having all these old memories, thought and life reflections pop up…

i agree too it is so weird seeing friends and old clasmates get married, get preggers…. wait, WE ARE TOO YOUNG FOR THAT?!… it’s especially weird because I don’t feel like a complete grown-up adult yet but obviously not a kid.. If I know one thing for sure it’s that life does, as you say, get better. It’s crazy how we all have those ‘down’ times but you could never know what life will bring you six months, a year..ten years.. from now. That’s the magic and beauty of life, no?!

50 Wendy September 13, 2012 at 1:38 am

I’ve been doing that for the last little while now, and I’m not sure the whole “wait, that was HOW long ago?” will stop anytime soon! It is amazing how vivid our memories still are of those high school years. We had university age summer students this year, and I was so shocked when I realized that I am nearly 10 years older then them! I’m just waiting until one of my close friends tells me that they are having children…
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51 Heather September 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

very well written, my friend.
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52 Christine September 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

I totally feel your sentiment. Occasionally, I’ll look around our house and comment to my husband that all this stuff is OURS. Like, when you’re a kid, you have enough stuff to fill a *room.* Now all the stuff in our HOUSE is ours. Mind-blowing.

I’ll also occasionally say that since we’re grown-ups, isn’t it totally cool that we could stay up as late as we want? Of course, for me these days (I just turned 33), “as late as I want” is only like, 11:30, but that’s not the point, lol.
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53 Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run September 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

You are completely on point with this post. And I have about 10 years on you. When do you start to feel old, I’ll let you know when I get there. I’ll hear a music to turn on a movie and then see the date it came out and I’ll in denial. The other night I watched Breakfast Club, which apparently is 27 years old?! How did that happen? Everything aged but me. πŸ˜‰
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54 Maria September 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

I feel like that almost every day. A lot of my friends are getting engaged and the ones that just got married are getting pregnant within the first year. I also think “they are too young. Why don’t they wait a little while”. Then, like you said, you realize we’re not too young. But, for as long as I still feel and act like I’m in my early 20’s, and sometimes like I’m 8, then I’ll be happy.

55 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian September 13, 2012 at 10:13 am

I definitely have this internal conversation with myself every time my facebook newsfeed is crawling with baby photos, alerts of new engagements, etc. “They’re too young to to get engaged!! Oh my god!” …but they’re 26. They’re really not…

I do think I’m not QUITE there yet (24 over here, my boyfriend is 25) but I do feel like I’m growing up quickly and don’t think my mind has caught up yet. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years, we live together, and we’ve talked about getting a fur baby within the next year. If you told me 4 years ago that things would be like this now at 24, I would have thought you were crazy. Time does fly and I don’t know when we’ll really start to feel “grown up”. Never, I hope!
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56 Brittney September 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I’m 22 and I feel this way! I feel like I’m getting old and I’m already out of time for so many things!!!

57 Brittney September 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

How about when you watch a movie that’s old (like The Breakfast Club), and think of the characters as older than you, because they used to be when you first saw it, when they were actually teenagers and you are now in your 30’s?
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58 Meghann September 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Agree. I watched “My Best Friend’s Wedding” on ABC Family the other night and couldn’t believe that Julia Roberts’ character is my age. I remember watching it as a kid and thinking the “if we’re not married by 28 deal” sounded completely acceptable. Now it makes me laugh. Actually 28 isn’t really that old and not being married (or in a relationship) by that age is perfectly acceptable. But back then I just nodded along.

59 Irina @ Chocolatea Time September 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

What a great post. This is something I’ve been thinking about often these days, especially since I’m entering that age where people are getting engaged, married, and a few are even having kids. How does time fly by us so quickly? Sad but exciting at the same time…
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60 Sarah September 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Love this post. I’m 23, a recent college grad, and I got my first full-time job offer last week. I’m like, “Hold up, am I really old enough to do this now?!” I’m also hitting the age where my friends are getting married off. There are also a few who are only 24/25 and on their 2nd kid. I just graduated and have a crapload of student loan debt….I can’t imagine supporting KIDS at this point in my life!

On the funny side, I had a similar moment to yours recently…only it was via Facebook rather than in the store. A few months back, a guy from my high school added me. He was one of the football playing, super popular guys (whereas I was a chorus and honor student nerdy girl, HA), and I was pretty surprised when I saw his name pop up in my friend requests. I was thinking, “Well, sure, I remember YOU. How on earth do you remember me?!” We’ve actually had several really good conversations since then. Found out that he DOES remember me from way back when. And I thought I was pretty invisible during high school. Proves that popularity and pretenses mean NOTHING.

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