There’s a thing that happens with the 20-something; once so able to hold on regardless of the hangover, or the ridiculous physical activity like an Ironman they put themselves through. It happens almost over night, but it’s completely recognizable. Their shoulders go from being straight and excited about having more than $60 in their bank account, to tense and strained about the promise of another Monday. Their backs have gone from backs that would be stoked at any Ikea futon put in their way, to backs that now hurt just thinking about sleeping in foreign beds on anything less that 300-thread-count sheets.
That thing that happens is getting older. And it is fucking terrible, but you should own it.
When you get older, there are a lot of activities that you simply cannot participate in simply due to lack of resilience. Everything will hurt, and you will 100 percent feel like you are dying. Your mind, and previously flexible bone structure, will test these limits once or twice, maybe more, and then the 17th time you try to do something ridiculous — like go down a giant hillside slip-and-slide but come out the other end feeling like a truck ran over you — it will force you to snap back to your senses and better judgment.
Your body is getting old, and it sucks.
Everything changes. You can’t drink in the same unapologetic way for fear of the dreaded 48-hour hangover, so you either go to bed at 10:30, or drink tonic water and pretend at the bar. You start looking at kale in the grocery store rather than jumping straight for the Lunchables and string cheese, which are now seen as treats for not skipping the gym. You actually brush your teeth after a one-night-stand because Dr. Johnson already gave you shit once before about bicuspid care, and you really don’t want to hear it again in six months.
You have to take care of yourself, and yes, it sucks.
You find yourself falling asleep dad-style in front of the golf tournament only to wake up to everyone 23 and below doing Jell-O shots around you. You willingly pass on a power hour because of a meeting that you put into your calendar weeks ahead of time. You stay home in favor of rolling your lower back on a foam roller for “comfort” and “self-care” rather than going out and raging. You don’t purchase certain snacks because of the potential heart burn that will come if you devour them at 2 a.m. in a snack haze. You have become everything that you once made fun of. You are a walking Alec Baldwin joke.
You, my friend, are old, and it sucks.
People raise their eyebrows at your outfits that are blatantly from Forever 21, but honestly, Old Yeller, I say you tell them where to go. You may be too ancient to deal with well drinks any more, or dance to someone who only has a first name and a bass mixer until last call, but you have a 401k and the regular wakeup willpower to get to McDonalds breakfast more than once a month. You’re fine. In fact, you are more than fine. You are golden. GOLDEN.
You have reached the painful, but kind of wonderful stage of adulthood between being one failed, drunk parkour mistake away from the ER, and the place where you can afford second shelf liquor whenever you want but still get carded when you order that Bombay. You are somewhere between 2015 Chris Pratt and Andy Dwyer. Your back might hurt while you go for that last (but certainly not least) parkour, but at at least you don’t have to skip out on paying your electric bill to go to the chiropractor once you mess it up.
You may not be able to exist purely off of Target sale section shoes and Tostitos anymore without severe blisters and some major stomach problems, but hey, at least you have enough self respect to call yourself an Uber when two-for-one pitchers get the better of you on a Tuesday. Maybe you can’t handle a yardstick with the crazy kids who wrangled you into a Vegas romp, but you’re sitting at the poker table and looking really fly in your shades that you didn’t even have to beg your mom for this past Hanukah. You’re getting older, but you may actually be getting wiser.
So revel in it, fellow old fart. Besides, isn’t being a cougar/DILF kind of a milestone? .
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