The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Your Late 20s

by Lauren Martin

I'm not scared of death, but I'm scared to death of wrinkles.

Everyone says that your twenties are a time for experiments and mistakes. They say it’s a time of fast living and even faster days. They told me to relish in those simple years -- to be 23 for as long as I could.

But after almost a decade of experimenting on my mind and body (both good and bad), I'm scared I've done some irrevocable damage. Did our parents do this? Am I still on track? Am I where I need to be in my late twenties?

I’m also scared because why is no one talking about our thirties? Where are all the funny adages and conversations about being crazy in your late twenties, early thirties? Why is no one talking about the benefits of those years!?

Why do all the wild, fun, happy stories end at 25? What about those older, more mature years when we can also make mistakes? Why isn’t anyone making mistakes then? Do women not sleep with cater waiters at 28?

In my opinion, my late twenties are going to be better than my confused, insecure and naive early twenties. And since no one's talking about it, I will. I’ll set the tone, start the conversation and lay out the good, bad and very ugly of getting older.

Your skin

The Good: You know how to take care of it now. You understand and respect it, no longer letting it bake for hours without protection or falling asleep with it caked in make-up. You see the natural beauty in it and finally appreciate it as the face you will have for the rest of your life.

The Bad: It’s not what it used to be. Unfortunately, when you were 19 and wearing glitter on your cheeks, you didn't care. You didn’t appreciate it. You took its elasticity, its smoothness, its supple glow for granted. Now you only wish you didn't spend the better part of your twenties trying to look like Paris Hilton.

The Ugly: Age spots, wrinkles, sagging eyelids. But these don’t have to be ugly, they can be beautiful signs of a full life, a life that you lived to see and wear.

Your relationships

The Good: You’re finally secure in yourself and, thus, your relationships. Whether you’re in one or still looking, you're not that crazy, insecure mess you were at 23. You no longer need to get drunk before the date.

The Bad: You feel like you're always being upstaged by those drunk 23-year-olds.

The Ugly: Men haven't grown up.

Your job

The Good: It’s not a job, it’s a career. You’ve worked your way to a position that’s now valued and respected. You are finally someone giving orders and taking admiration.

The Bad: It’s a pretty big part of your life, whether that’s a good thing or a bad one.

The Ugly: By now your routine may be monotonous and tiring. If it’s not your chosen career, you don’t love that every day is the same. To avoid this fear, start working toward a career you love.

Your mother

The Good: She is your best friend. You understand each other now, woman to woman. You are each other’s closest person and it's the relationship you never thought you'd ever have with the woman you despised at 21.

The Bad: You are your mother.

The Ugly: Sometimes, when you yell, you sound just like her.

Your weekend plans

The Good: There are no hangovers, regrets or random men in your bed. You’ve perfected the art of cocktailing and actually only have one drink when you say you’re only going to have one drink.

The Bad: One drink is about all you need to become one of those "winos" you used to make fun of at your mom’s bingo nights.

The Ugly: When you do let loose, those hangovers take about four days to shake.

Your friends

The Good: Your relationships are stable, drama free and reliable. You are each other’s rock and confidantes. There is nothing you wouldn’t do for each other and there's nothing you don’t know about each other.

The Bad: You've known these bitches forever, there's nothing else to talk about.

The Ugly: They could do some serious blackmail with all the sh*t they know.

Your birthday

The Good: You get really amazing presents, have sophisticated parties and finally have money to spend on things.

The Bad: You still haven't accepted your age; you still dread it; you want to throw the f*cking birthday cake right up your ex boyfriend's new girlfriends "tight" ass.

The Ugly: Instead of asking how old you are, they’re asking things like, “How many years young?”

Your sex life

The Good: You know what you’re doing now. You’re comfortable with yourself and your body. New positions don’t drive you to spend the better part of the night in the bathroom wondering if your pinky was supposed to bend like that.

The Bad: The men haven't gotten any better.

The Ugly: Gravity is a real thing.

Your health

The Good: You actually care about it now. You're making regular doctors appointments and not canceling them because you'd rather finish "The Carrie Diaries."

The Bad: Now that you care about it, it seems like so much can go wrong...

The Ugly: Since when did deciding to be healthy start costing so much? Why do I have to go to three different doctors?

Your relationship with food

The Good: You can afford gourmet sh*t now. You can eat at classy ass restaurants and order things like "prix fixe" and "wine pairings."

The Bad: Your metabolism really isn't used to that gourmet sh*t.

The Ugly: Even though you can afford to eat like a responsible adult, you still binge on Oreos and Ramen and cheap beer.

Your social media account

The Good: You've learned to control it.

The Bad: You're having a hard time figuring out what's still cool and what's not anymore.

The Ugly: You're that old person on Facebook now.

Your wardrobe

The Good: You can afford to spend money on clothes and dress the way you always imagined yourself. Your wardrobe has expensive staple pieces. You can rationalize expensive shoe purchases.

The Bad: You don't have as much money as you think you do.

The Ugly: You're still spilling on yourself... like all the time.