Earlier today, my attention was drawn to a little piece on Thought Catalog called “27 Things You Must Say Goodbye to at 27.” While a couple of the points on the list are good advice for anyone at any age (stop holding grudges against your exes, don’t be a flake, don’t actively avoid watching the news, and so on), the majority of them… well… aren’t. In fact, they seem to be aimed at sucking the joy out of living, based on some lame notion of adulthood. And that? Is bogus.
I'm in my late twenties myself, and I'd like to present to you 27 things you should definitely keep doing once you turn 27 — or 35, or 52, or 105, or whatever. Life, as they say, is in the details; ruling some of those details out just because you hit a certain age seems silly to me. Just do you!
1. Indulging in your favorite foods every so often.
The key is moderation — your metabolism changes the older you get, so yeah, that everything bagel with cream cheese is going to hit you differently than it did at 18. But it certainly won’t kill you to have one every once in a while, so go ahead and enjoy it.
2. Having wild nights out with the girls.
Everyone needs to blow off steam every now and again. Now you can do it while drinking good wine instead of cheap vodka!
3. Watching kid’s TV shows.
On the contrary, children’s television gets even more interesting the older you are. It gives you the ability to see the bigger picture, and from a developmental psych perspective, it's fascinating.
4. Reading YA books.
See: Watching kid’s TV.
Studies have shown that people often regret not the stuff they bought, but rather the experiences they didn't have. The older you get, the more likely you are to have disposable income; put it to good use and go have an adventure or two.
6. Wearing what makes you feel good.
Yoga pants? White dresses? Captain American t-shirt? Your partner’s Oxford cloth button-down with a sharp pair of trousers? Do it. It’s your life.
7. Having stupidly long phone conversations with your BFF.
Just because you’re not a teen anymore doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to tie up the phone line for a good long while to catch up with your best friend. Even better, Skype!
8. Crushing on that cute guy you always see at the coffee shop.
A little romance is good for the soul. On that note...
Flirting is fun!
10. Falling in love.
So is falling in love!
11. Falling out of love.
Less fun, but sometimes necessary. Don’t worry about “settling down," no matter how old you are.
12. Painting your toenails blue.
Or green, or purple, or sparkly, or whatever. Nail polish colors do not have age limits.
13. Learning new things.
That old saying about not being able to teach old dogs new tricks? Bullshit. Whether it’s going back to school or picking up a hobby, go right ahead and challenge yourself to learn something new. How else are you going to keep things interesting?
14. Coloring outside the lines.
Literally and metaphorically.
15. Doing cartwheels just because you can.
16. Ordering a milkshake with dinner.
Bonus: Now you can add booze.
17. Going all-out on your birthday.
To be fair, I don’t really think anyone, no matter what age they are, should be celebrating a “birthday week” or “birthday month” — mostly because it seems excessive and annoyingly “ME! ME! ME!”; however, that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to celebrate your birthday at all. Have a party! A shindig, even! Or just treat yourself to a quiet night in, if that’s your jam! Birthdays are for having fun, no matter how old you are!
18. Talking in baby voices to your dog.
Or your cat, or your parrot, or your alternate pet of choice. Pets love that shit.
19. Taking spontaneous road trips.
Remember that whole thing about traveling and having adventures? The same thing applies here. As long as you have both the time and the resources to do it, go. Randomly decide to drive up to Niagara Falls over the weekend just because you’ve always wanted to see it. You will thank yourself in the long run.
20. Changing your career.
Plenty of people have made total career changes and seen great success because of it. And I don’t just mean financial success; sure, that can be part of it, but personal happiness also counts as success. Just because you’ve been doing one job for the past 10 years doesn’t mean you’re stuck doing it for the next 10.
21. Getting so absorbed in the book you’re reading that you stay up all night to finish it.
Bonus points if you read it under the covers with a flashlight.
22. Throwing a Frisbee around on a lazy summer Sunday.
It’s fun, and it’s exercise. Everybody wins!
23. Getting nostalgic.
24. …Dreaming about the future.
The best part is that now, you’ve got the know-how to make whatever future you dream for yourself a reality.
25. Singing along with your favorite song when it comes on the radio.
Who cares if it’s a boy band?
Loudly. And often.
27. Not worrying what anyone else thinks about you.
A lot of the prevailing wisdom on how to behave when you "grow up" seems largely concerned with how others might perceive you based on your likes or behaviors. You know what? Forget them. If you like One Direction, awesome. If you dig hair accessories, awesome. If you like watching MTV, awesome. If you love bagels, guess what? Awesome. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for people who are going to give me the Lucille Bluth just because I still like watching cartoons. I’m much too busy living my life.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Adventure Time queued up and a batch of chicken tikka masala to make. Dinner tonight is going to be epic.