Monday, October 17, 2011

What's a decade?

This past weekend was my ten-year college reunion.  I was very sad to not make it.  I loved college.  I loved the people I met, the things I learned, the person I became.  I credit Knox College with making me the person that I am today.

But this weekend, instead of visiting the glory that is Galesburg IL (Uncle Billy's Bakery--you were missed) I was in Salt Lake visiting my family.  I have a brother who lives abroad and he was in town so we headed to Salt Lake to see him (which was so fun and so worth it).

The 10 years out of college marker seems like a big one and even though I didn't attend the reunion I spent  lots of time this weekend thinking about how my life is different than it was 10 years ago.  And it's funny, in lots of ways it's better but there are some very specific ways that it is not.

Ways that being 32 is 100x better than being 22 
(some of these are hard to explain so bear with me)

  • I am in an amazing, grown-up, committed relationship with someone I love.
  • I have the most adorable baby on the whole planet.
  • I am financially secure.
  • I have retirement savings.
  • I have learned to take care of my body.
  • I am more patient.
  • I am so much smarter, well-read and informed.
  • I don't get riled up about things.  I remember road-rage being a real problem when I was young (as was driving too quickly) and these days I don't get too frustrated if people cut me off and I'm not normally in a big enough hurry to speed
  • I make better, more thought-out decisions.
  • I have lost some of what I am calling "the arrogance of youth." I used to be a little...overly confident.  It made me less aware of other people and what they were thinking.  It made it so that when I looked at situations I only looked at what was in it for me.  Losing that has made me more aware of other people.  It has made me kinder, less selfish and more able to connect with other people.
  • I don't sweat as much of the small stuff

Ways that being 32 is harder than being 22

  • Knees. I don't know if it's carrying a 25 lb baby up a flight of stairs multiple times every day or just age but my knees are not what they once were.  Being able to run on pavement seems like a dream of years past.
  • Even though my body is 1/2 the size it was in college I am more self-conscious of my body.  I remember knowing that I was chubby and disliking that, and thinking life would be easier if I was thin but I don't remember being able to make a list a mile long of individual body-faults
  • I have lost some of what I am calling "the arrogance of youth." This is on both lists. It's true that the loss of arrogance has made me a kinder and better person but it also has had a few bad side effects.  Sometimes when I am talking to other people I find myself thinking, "do I sound like a complete idiot?  Do I even make sense?"  That didn't used to happen.  
So what about you?  How is your life better than it was 10 years ago?  Or at 22? and how is it worse?


  1. I think the best thing I like about being in my thirties as opposed to twenties is the confidence. I had a certain type of confidence as a college student, an educational confidence, but I have so much more confidence now as a person. I am who I am now, I'm no longer searching to find out who I am, and that feels great.

  2. I feel like I'm more well-read as well. Sometimes it seems like the best part about graduating is that my education can now begin. I FINALLY have the time to read whatever I want, and I've made good use of it.

  3. I am still in my early 20s...

  4. I 100% love growing older. Every year has been better than the last, and sometimes when I look back at my early 20's, I think, "wow ... all people at that age are simply insane." I'm 33 now and I just feel so much more complete, more comfortable in my skin, more accepting of who I am, more forgiving of who I'm not, less fearful, more sane, more relaxed, happier in every way. I would never have expected to like growing older so much, but I'm so glad that I do.

    But I am with you on the knees. Just not the same.