I spent my 20s in fear. Fear of not finding a cool job, fear of missing out, fear that that stupid thing I did would actually end up to be way more stupid than it felt in the moment, fear that my mom would end up being right about just about everything. Ten years later, with most if not all of my reckless behavior fully behind me, I can confirm that you are missing out on absolutely nothing and your mom is right about everything. As a ~grown woman~, I can confirm these are some of the things that make "getting old" pretty effing great.
1. All those things you used to hate about how you look? You no longer give a shit.
To be clear, this has nothing to do with "letting yourself go" and everything to do with having enough confidence to embrace the reality that you don't fit into some excessively Photoshopped mold of what a human woman "should" look like, and that striving to resemble a figure in a wax museum is an onerous, impossible, and a pointless mission.
2. You're no longer afraid of missing out.
Because you've been out enough to know that all you were missing out on were lemon drop shots at 2 a.m., a terrible hangover the next day, and "losing" money in a jeans pocket that you would discover in your pants the following Tuesday. Sometimes the best way to YOLO is straight up on your couch, cuddling your man, your cat, and a bottle of wine.
3. Self-confidence? Your cup runneth over.
You no longer feel like you're striving for a certain look, a certain status, or a certain clique. You know what you like to wear, you know who you like to hang out with, and you know what your life priorities are. That's because you're not relying on anything but yourself to make a statement about who you are or what you're worth.
4. You're waaayyy less afraid of giving birth than you were 10 years ago.
If giving birth is on your list of things to do, now that it might be imminent, you view it more as a day of pain versus the scariest thing in the entire world that you will never be able to tolerate.
5. You can have highly amusing conversations with your friends about how twentysomethings make no sense.
You remember a world of landlines and cassette tapes and Alanis Morissette not having to duet with Demi Lovato to be relevant. Twentysomethings, on the other hand, had e-textbooks.
6. You can have just one glass of wine and stop.
7. You don't have to worry about how you're going to afford to go to the next music festival.
Because as soon as you "music fest," you can feel the atrocious sensation of a film of dust and oily sweat cover your entire body and clog all your face pores, and know music festivals are the last things you want to do.
8. Nightclubs = no.
If you were for some reason seeking that sort of experience, you could just pour a Jagerbomb down your leg and walk around until it dried.
9. You take better vacations.
You've been working long enough to have a few extra bones in the bank. Also, your friends or significant other want to do more than go to Bora for the parties.
10. You have a better wardrobe because you finally have a sense of personal style.
You are so done wearing miniskirts that ride up, planning to one day fit into something you bought that never fit to begin with, and buying things that seem trendy but actually look bad on 99 percent of people. You don't want to look like a walking style blogger. You want to look like a person who wears clothes, not someone who clothes wear.
11. Your living quarters look less like a dorm and more like Pinterest.
You have bothered to hang pictures—that are in frames—on your walls.
12. You have fewer, better friends.
You've been canceled on enough to know that flakes belong in one place: your cereal bowl.
13. You are in a position to help younger women professionally and offer mentorship and advice.
Giving back is gratifying. It's like feeding an ice cream sundae to your emotions.
14. You do not give a fuck what other people think.
This is basically your life motto:
15. Even though you have some wrinkles starting to show, your skin is better on the whole.
All those nights of coming home, stuffing fries in your face, and passing out with your contour still on are long behind you. Mud masks are bae.
16. Petty drama does not appeal to you.
So your friend is getting married and asked you to be in the wedding, and the dress she wants you all to wear is expensive and fug. Rather than commiserate with the other whiny bridesmaids about the dress, you just shut up and wear it and have fun. Drama is not bae.
17. You have absolutely no desire to be 21 again.
It seemed so fun and sexy and free (and literally, wrinkle-free) at the time. But then you remember how you often felt like you should be different than how you are now, and the 23-year-old in your office shows you Kylie Jenner's Snapchat story, and you realize you fucking love 30.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.