This is 33.

(Influence from The Huffington Post’s “This is Childhood” series and Emily Mendell’s “This is 45".)

This is 33.

33 is not living up to society’s norms. You’re made to feel like you’re not supposed to make big mistakes anymore, but you still feel like you’ve guessed your way into adulthood. Actually, forget guessing my way here…the bigger question is, how did I even get here in the first place?

33 is having your ish together, but constantly wondering whether you really do or not.

33 is watching the number of unmarried friends dwindle drastically. And by drastically, I mean you might be the only unmarried one left. 33 is watching your friends go through divorce before you’ve even been married. It’s watching your friends become mothers and fathers, some for the 2nd and 3rd time. 33 is worrying how much time your biological clock has left.

33 is shrinking your circle of friends to include only the ones who enrich your life. The ones who keep their bs level low and their need to tell it like it is at an all-time high. It is accepting that not all who come into your life are meant to permanently reside there. It is learning to let go time and time again, wondering at what point letting go will become easy.

At 33, you complain about being too old to go to certain places, but feel young enough to be compelled to go when the invitations come around. At 33, you swear you don’t understand the trends and slang of the younger millennials, but you download SnapChat anyway and throw in a “YOLO” from time to time. At 33, you feel offended that you’re considered a millennial.

At 33, you feel like your Sweet 16 was yesterday, but then you realize that was more than half of your lifetime ago.

33 is giving sage advice to your younger friends, but desperately looking to your older friends for wisdom, direction, and the reassurance that everything will be okay.

33 is the nostalgia of 90s and early 2000s music and the lyrics that tell your story. It is TGIF: Boy Meets World, Full House, Family Matters, and Step by Step. It is daydreaming of an adult life as thrilling as the ones lived on Melrose Place, but as poignant as the teenage conversations on Dawson’s Creek. It is Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler.

33 is your first wrinkle and finding that first glimmer of silver streaking through your hair…and finding another one…and another one…

33 is realizing you really are becoming your mother. And while that notion terrified you 10 years ago, now it is a compliment because your mom exudes all the sophisticated elegance and strength you hope to gain one day.

33 is the thrill of being asked for your ID.

It is being grateful for being the last generation old enough to know life before technology and young enough to still be immersed in it. It is teaching your parents how to text and being mortified when you get a Facebook friend request from them.

It is the first unfamiliar feelings of once vivid memories fading into the background.

At 33, you learn to accept what you cannot change, and feel confident enough to change what you can.

33 is no longer being able to say that you are standing on the edge of adulthood. It is freefalling through it, a little reckless, but with pointed direction, knowing you have your past experiences and lessons learned packed into your parachute the moment you need it.

This is 33. This is me. Now.

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