My Mid-20s ALREADY?

Hello, friends! Sooooo earlier this week was my birthday! A family friend’s child came over to our house last week and asked me the popular question: “How old are you?” When I told her that I was 23 years old, she literally did a double-take and cried, “I thought you were 18 max!” As I laughed (to be completely transparent, her astonishment hit me a bit), a few things ran through my mind. 1: My elder years are going to bless me really well, and 2: I really do navigate the world thinking I look grown when folks think otherwise. I thought it was rather comedic that she thought I was so young. But hey, being a tiny person like myself with such a youthful face, I can’t even blame her for assuming I was a high schooler.

After doing my research (a quick Google search), the general consensus agrees that age 24 is considered ‘mid-20s’. It is rather hard to believe that I am here, now officially embarking on my mid-20s. I don’t usually feel ‘the change’ in age immediately when my birthday rolls around. However, I did stumble across this article pointing out some realities that occur when a person processes the concept of ‘being 24.’ Of course, everyone goes through their own journey and experiences at every stage of life. However, some points I found rather relatable and amusing about my new big age were the following:

  1. Wondering how your parents had you around your current age and you thinking that could NEVER be you at this moment.
    • YES, YES, AND YES to this point! My mom LOVES to say, “When I was your age I was married, had two children, and was running this house.” Yes Mother, I totally understand this and all power to you, truly. HOWEVER, times are completely different now and shoot, I still feel like a kid myself! Therefore, this could NEVER be me at this age.
  2. Beginning phrases with ‘I’m too old to…’.
    • I have found that I’ve been saying and definitely feeling this phrase more frequently, particularly with the kids that I work with. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how high-energy kids just are. It has become even more apparent that I am struggling to match their energy when I am trying to catch up with them by jumping on a trampoline for ONE WHOLE HOUR or playing an endless game of Tag. To think that I now have kiddos asking me, “What is an iPod?” just further illustrates that times have truly changed.
  3. Beginning to truly realize the values of your skills.
    • This point has become more salient in my daily life in the last year. It is now during this time that I can admittedly acknowledge that I really do have multiple skills worthy of being utilized! Pinpointing these God-given skills of mine has helped shape the mindset that I plan to embody in its entirety for 2021 (check out my previous post here for more insight).
  4. Growing into your love and connection to music – so much that a childhood classic could have you in tears.
    • Don’t get me started on my CHILDHOOD CLASSIC – the entirety of The Cheetah Girls 1 – 3 soundtrack! It has my whole heart! The appreciation runs way too deep. As I get older, the messages they convey are completely applicable to my interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Side note: When I tell you that I am a Cheetah Girls fan, again, it is not a joke. Check out my tribute to them here.
  5. Noticing changes in your body and realizing that nutrition, exercise, and skincare are actually much more vital than we initially thought.
    • Retweet to the fact that nutrition, exercise, and skincare are more vital to my overall wellness than I previously gave credit for. For instance, I used to eat an entire mug-full of cookies and cream ice cream (I kid you not) EVERY SINGLE DAY when I ran track and field during high school. The wildest part? My body was chilling the whole time! Now, catch me even attempting to eat a bag of Takis an hour before bedtime – it is over. The bag of Takis always wins, and my body and my skin attack me for disrespecting it.
  6. Becoming completely cognizant that you can’t change people so you realize that it is better to direct this energy on investing in yourself instead.
    • The older I get, the more obvious I see this point reign true. Though I can wish, hope, and even attempt to change someone for what I see would benefit them (and I can tell you countless times that I am guilty of this), I’ve come to realize that I greatly need to protect my energy. To give and give to people who merely drain my energy and do not reciprocate is never a productive use of my time. Unfortunately, more often than not, I end up getting burned out or feel that I’ve been taken advantage of. Life is too precious to not invest in myself wholeheartedly. Surrounding myself with people who do not uplift me, challenge me, or contribute to my growth gradually becomes a thing of my past as I grow older and learn the importance of centering myself.

Though I may not necessarily exhibit some of the very ‘traditional milestones’ of 24 normalized in society, the beginning of this new era in my 20s include some major life markers coming up for me:

  1. Moving to a different state.
  2. Beginning graduate school.
  3. Figuring out how to become financially self-reliant.
  4. Transitioning to achieving my actual career aspirations.

Overall, I am blessed to have made it to another year! I am almost a quarter of a century old, ah! Am I ready for these major life events to occur? Time will tell. However, I do look forward to exploring what the rest of my mid-20s has in store for me.

Peace and love,

Irene

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