The Best & Worst of Turning 26

I’ve done it, HTLYT – I’ve made it a whole ‘nother year. I officially stepped into my ‘late twenties’ yesterday and let me tell you… it feels good. Here’s the best (and worst) of turning twenty-six.

Best: One step closer to 30’s

I have long maintained that my thirties will be my best decade yet. My reasoning is this: in your thirties, you’re still young and hot, but you’ve been around long enough to no longer give a shit. I don’t mean in the sense that you stop shaving your legs and start watching exclusively HGTV; I mean that you’re old enough to no longer care what people think of you. And, as someone constantly paralyzed with fear over the opinions of others, that sort of freedom sounds intoxicating.

Or, according to Orie, “Thirty, farty, and fun.”

Worst: All your younger friends think it’s cute to tell you you’re ‘old’

In Hollywood, an aging woman is absolutely the worst thing you can be. This perception – that aging is gross- occasionally bleeds over into reality. Sometimes your friends subscribe to it. In the lead-up to my birthday, Kim – who is a full year younger – kindly reminded me that I was ‘getting old soon.’ It didn’t feel great. I took solace in the fact that I may be old, but at least I’ve never cried in an IKEA.

Best: You feel your age (in a good way)

For the first time in a bunch of years, my age finally links up to where I hoped I’d be in life. When I turned 21, I was days away from having a baby. When I turned 24, I was married with two babies. The birthdays in between, I wasn’t a high-powered editorial assistant at a fancy publishing house. The dreams had stagnated.

Me, responding to my stagnated dreams.

But now, at twenty-six, I’m a married mom working as a marketing writer. This feels right. This feels like twenty-six. Your twenty-six should feel twenty-six, too. Wherever you are is where you should be. If you’re reading this, we made it.

Best: You get a lot of candles

There are many perks in this country to being a white woman. One of the biggest is that everyone assumes we love candles. They are very, very right.

Turning 26 is another one of those ‘early adulthood’ birthdays where you’re just showered in candles and bottles of wine. I’m writing this in the middle of a ring of lit Voluspa candles, inhaling the scents of fancy pears and expensive beans. It looks like a seance or something equally as sinister. Happy birthday to me!

“And please protect us from IKEA-induced tears, but deliver unto us IKEA Swedish meatballs…”

Worst: Your birthday doesn’t feel like a big deal

… Even to you.

I’m not saying it’s not a big deal, I’m just saying that when you wake up and go to work/school/kindergarten drop-off, you don’t even bother resenting the world for making you do stuff on your birthday. Because… it’s just a birthday. You’ll have another one next year. You genuinely don’t mind if someone forgets. You’re kind of over it.

Is this a sign of growing up or giving up? Am I mature or a broken woman? It’s hard to tell. Insight welcome.

Best: The universe gives you a hug in the form of birthday love

Thanks to Facebook and friends with good memories, your birthday is a day when everyone says hey to you. It feels good, man. Say hey back. Make sure to return the favor. Everyone likes to be seen. Be loved and love each other. If you need some love, ask. I’m always happy to hand it out in fistfuls.

What was your 26th birthday like? Or, if you’re not there yet – what do you hope it’s like? Drop a comment or send us a message here or on social media. We love you and we love it when you talk at us!

xoxo, Grace

image courtesy of amy

One thought on “The Best & Worst of Turning 26

  1. My 26th Birthday, I went to school and out to dinner with my in laws. Some people forgot, some made it a big deal. Mostly I was excited for a margarita, my husband, and cuddling with my dogs. Late 20s are lit…. do people still say lit?

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