Small, subtle parts of your body become more important. Like you clavicle, which never seems to lose its grace. While large obvious parts become less so. There's only so much attention you can give your derriere—22 years, for example—before even you get bored.
Cursing to be considered strong or tough is no longer cute. You can quit it, the way you always wanted to.
Nobody will ever make you wear a big sweatshirt with a college or sorority' 'logo on it, unless you want to.
Makeup no longer looks like crayon on your face.
No more path-not-taken moments, when you become convinced that botching a job interview or not talking to that man who was picturesquely enjoying his coffee and copy of Jane Eyre on the park bench as you walked by a completely normal 16 times has irrevocably ruined your life forever and ever and ever. As Hannah Seligson, author of Mission Adulthood: How the 20-Somethings of Today are Transforming Work, Love, and Life, tells us: "Everything at 22 feels like a really, really big deal. And why shouldn't it? You have no perspective or life experience to make you think otherwise. So not getting the job at the New York Times or Paramount or when the cute guy you went on one seemingly great date doesn't call seems to add up to: I will die alone and unemployed. Getting older, miraculously, makes you realize that career setbacks, while devastating, are not carved in stone." Setbacks, mistakes, awkward encounters: Now you know they only ruin a tiny squidgeon of your life at a time.
Published on Jan 03, 2013