Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm Feeling 22

Warning, this is going to be a novel of a post.. but I am totally interested in having you all weigh in!!!

 The other day, I was talking to my mom about how sometimes, I feel that I am treated much older than I really am. I don't remember how this conversation came about, but I think the concept is of importance to discuss here on Summer Wind. 

me at 2 years old
During the conversation with my mom, she said, that as a child, I started talking earlier than most and talking a lot...if you know me IRL, then that shouldn't surprise you. I was having full on conversations when other children my age were not. She said that this would often cause others around me to treat me as if I were older than I really was. She said that one time, we were flying as a family and I was chattering away, and the flight attendants weren't treating my parents very nicely because they thought that my parents had lied about my age, when in reality, it only seemed that I was older. 

Let's play guess my age... You are correct if you guessed 18! 
I have almost always looked older than my age too. My appearance coupled with my often conservative style, I think, throws people off. I have a good story to illustrate this... which is quite embarrassing for me. I was home on Christmas break during my freshman year of college (I was 18 at the time). I had just gone to the gym, and wanted to stop at the grocery store on my way home because Giant Eagle (Pittsburgh grocery story chain), has a fabulous sparkling pink lemonade and I wanted to pick up a few bottles so I could take them back to school with me. Well, as I was standing in the checkout line, the clerk started chatting with me. She told me how she loves the pink lemonade and that she makes fun cocktails and was giving me the recipe. Meanwhile, I was only 18, but didn't mention this because it would have made the interaction awkward. So I let her talk on and on about the pink lemonade cocktail recipe and after all was said, the last thing she said was "the recipe is fabulous but don't let your kids get to it". I about fainted. YOUR KIDS?! This woman thought that I was old enough to have kids. Now, I realize that it is medically possible that at 18, I could have had a child... However, I was so taken aback and frustrated! 

Looking older than my numerical age hasn't always been horrible, but I have noticed it from time to time. At 22, I am an educated, working, adult. However, that doesn't mean that I have had as much learning/life experiences as a 26, 28, or 30 year old. I think that sometimes, people forget that I am only 22. I don't really make it easier on myself considering I like a lot of things that the average 30+ year old likes. I know my wines and champagnes, I know hot to tip properly in most situations, I love Frank Sinatra, jazz music (Benoit, Sandborn, Brubeck, you name it), I never forget to send a thank you note, I'm overly responsible, my closet is filled with clothing from Talbots, I fully believe in the power of early bedtimes... I even use anti-aging wrinkle cream on my eyes every night before bed. 

The one and only time I let my friends dress me to look like my 20 year old self to go to a party at JMU. No pearls and a tight know, the ones you get at Forever21. Yikes! Needless to say, I was out of my element. 
The funny thing is that I like a lot of childish things.. or rather, more 22 year-old appropriate things, too. I love Taylor Swift. I love glitter nail polishes.  Eloise at the Plaza is my idol. I really enjoy eating uncrustables (those cute frozen PB&J sandwiches). I enjoy watching Pretty Little Liars and Full House reruns. I still don't fully comprehend bills, interest, and credit...really, all that finance-y adult stuff (I leave that to my dad). I still love decorating my Lilly Pulitzer planner with colorful markers and stickers. My friends and I still frequent bars that serve all of their drinks in plastic cups. 

In short, I thirst for the finer things in life, I have a hunger for knowledge and am constantly trying to better myself... but I am only 22. I would hate to think I'm missing out on being 22!! Does anyone else ever feel this way?! What are some 22-year-old things that I should experience before it is too late? I am anxious to see people weigh-in on this matter in the comments.. what do you think? Have a fabulous day! 


Gramspearls said...

The best advice I can give you is that you'll grow into yourself. You have good taste and class, which are usually aquired as a woman are blessed and have exibited these inate gifts ahead of your years. Perhaps that's why you have so many followers....they see in you how they hope to be. You are fabulous!

Warmly, Kathleen

Christine said...

I have the opposite problem. Most people think I'm way younger than I am. I seriously look like a 14 year old - I kid you not! People at my university often time ask me if I'm still in high school....

All I can say is embrace who you are and do not let others make your feel inferior. You are a such wonderful person inside and out and a true role model for many, myself included!

Stay fabulous!

JR Mazur said...

Don't change who you are, you're just fabulous at 22 and you'll continue to be fabulous at 32,42,52...I'm 26 but I too feel like I'm wise beyond my years and I share your love for things that people older than me do (and I also do love glitter nail polish and Taylor Swift). It makes you more fabulous and more wonderful and more unique :-)

hollygolightly said...

I think that you are doing it the right way!! You seem to have a great grasp of your own style and are proud to be who you are (you blog!). You're a young professional, a college graduate, and you come across as being a level-headed but fun 22-year-old.
I think that Kate Middleton was once or twice called 'old before her time' but she always stayed true to herself and she's now a great role model.
Enjoying your blog as always,

Claire said...

I have a 27-year-old sister and people always think we are either identical twins OR that I'm the older sister. It's awkward and embarrass when I explain that she is almost 6 years older than me so I semi-know how you feel. I say just keep being you :) I could easily feel "left out" from being 22 because I'm getting married in 4 months! But I'm not going to change anything about my life just because the average 22-year-old isn't wedding planning. If anything, it will help you meet an older man heehee that's the way to go!!!

catchtradewinds said...

LOVE this post! It's my 22nd birthday today and though I woke up going "21 felt so much younger", this post reminds me how young and fun 22nd is!

catchtradewinds said...

I absolutely love this post! Today is my 22nd birthday, and this makes me so excited for another year of fun while filled with graduating, real jobs, grad school -- all of those serious "grown up" events can cloud that 22 is still so young!

Anonymous said...

I think you are a perfect role model for teens and young adults. You are mature,stylish,and grounded but still have the innocence of youth. Such a "breath of fresh air" in today's world.

angela said...

I think you are awesome...and remind me alot of myself. I'm 8 years older (turned 30 on 4/13) and have always thought of myself (and have been told many times) as someone who always acted older. I've always and still dress conservatively...I own nothing from Forever 21 and always dress in classic clothing. I'm a stay at home mom and getting older, but still like to feel young sometimes.

Doloris van der Bergh said...

I am so happy that I haven't been the only one who experienced this! I am now nearly 20 (only a couple of months left :D) and my sister is 13 but she looks much older, because -as you said- the conservative style makes one looks older. Everytime I go out to the city with her people think that she is my child. I mean hello she is really big. I don't think that it is possible to get pregnant when you have been 7 years?! Once at the tennis practice of my sister another girl asked her if I was her mother???? Her Mother :D Really bad jokes!

SHF said...

I always get mistaken for someone older as well. I think it's because of my interests and some of my knowledge - like you, I love older music (Frank Sinatra is fantastic), and I know much more about etiquette and other topics than most people my age. I just like to think I have an advantage because I'm still young, but have knowledge "beyond my years". Best of both worlds!


Promised Pearls said...

Great post! I'm 22 as well and I have the completely opposite problem, people often think I'm 15 or 16. In fact, when I showed up to my first job I was mistake for the 17 year old high school intern! And I really liked your take on Forever 21. I have one dress from there that my friends talked me into buying for a party. Within 15 minutes of arriving, I was headed back to my apartment to change because I kept pulling and tugging at the dress instead of having fun. But I know I need to act my age occasionally and live in the moment.

Suzanne said...

I really, really love this post. I'm 26, and I think, for the most part, I generally look my age. But, I have a younger sister who is 20 and looks to be around 15/16. I have always dressed more conservatively and acted far more mature than my sister. Growing up, I have been asked so many times if she's my daughter. Excuse me?? I've always been mortified when I got that question. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one. :)

Also, I'm right there with you on the eye cream. It is my nighttime ritual, too!


J.B.M. said...

Hey Syd !
I also thought like that for a very long time... For me it was enervating that everyone was giving me 5 years younger than I actually was. But let me ask you a question : What does a 22-year-old girl look like? And a 24-year-old? And a 36-year-old? Depending on your origins, your background, your posture, your health, your education, you will probably look different from a person being the same "biological" age as you. And then what? Is it better to look younger? Older? In this society we unfortunately prefer younger appearances but in the same time we value seeing "old values" in younger crowds. If you wish to comply to this you will only end being completely lost and puzzled as to what to look for in life. Anyway, my long monolog aims only at telling to let it go...Have fun, live Your life and you will find it fulfilling, might you enjoy knitting like a granny or riding high speed rollercoster like a young teenager. Being happy is more important than "looking your age".
Stay classy !

Anonymous said...

I have the exact same problem, but like you I am comfortable in my own skin and unwilling to change who I am just to 'conform'. I'm not about to trade in my whiskey on the rocks, love of polished menswear and classic country, and extensive navy blazer collection (seriously, it's becoming an addiction). Eventually they will catch up to us! ;)

Elyse said...

I was going to say that I have the exact opposite problem since I've been mistake for a high school student several times since I graduated from college almost four years ago. And, since I was a law student I tended to dress conservatively and professionally most of the time. Like you, I really love Talbots. But this evening someone asked me if I was a professor! So maybe things are changing for me.

It's so frustrating when people can't figure out basic things about you, like your age. But, I for one think it's a good thing to come off as older since it means that you must seem more mature meaning that you come across as responsible and wise. That's always a good thing.

Heather said...

Growing up, I was always so much taller than everyone my age so naturally- they always assumed I was older as well. I think it can certainly be a blessing, people take you more seriously when they think you are older than you really are. You thoughts and ideas may be more influential if they can relate to you more.

But, like you said, it is so important to enjoy those early twenty years. Being in my mid 20's (25 ah!) I can say I honesty grew SO much in those years, and gained a lot of confidence and life wisdom (wow, I do sound old..) through experiences like actually having to be independent with so many new things that I never had to worry about before.

Enjoy being 22, you only get to once! :)

Sarah said...

Well, I'm 34 and have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. I would definitely consider you a very mature 22 year-old. I was always the same way. Enjoy your twenties but know that you aren't missing anything being an older soul. And also know, that for me and most of my friends, your thirties are the best decade yet. You have much to look forward to!

Sundresses and Smiles said...

I can definitely relate! I started talking early as a child and growing up always felt I related better to kids who were older than me. My mom thinks a lot of it is due to the fact that I was an only child and spent time with adults a lot at a young age. I learned how to converse with adults and in turn in some ways became a mini adult. This can definitely be hard at times though, because I'm stuck in the middle...just like it sounds you can be! I am happy to be in this post-college phase of life though, because I feel like friendships are now more based on stage of life, mutual interest, etc rather than just age!

The Aly Way said...

I feel the same way. People have always told me that I have an old soul. I am in my second semester at law school, and I finally feel more like a "twenties" girl than ever before. I work out with women in the 40s/50, attend Weight Watcher's meetings with women in their 50s/60s, and I enjoy talking to them and spending time with them very much. But just last weekend I went bar-hopping for the first time, and I had a ball! I talked to so many people... and so many different types of people. It was an interesting and memorable night. Definitely try it!

By the way, I love you hair in the "20" picture!

Sally said...

Do you love Taylor Swift song "22"?! I've had it on repeat lately!


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