Confessions of a 21-Year-Old Grandma
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been called a grandma. Like honestly I literally can’t tell you because it happens that often. But you know what? I embrace the title now and call myself a grandma more often than not. So here you have it - confessions from a 21-year-old grandma.
I didn’t used to always be such a grandma either. I used to absolutely hate getting up early during high school and I stayed out way too late during my freshman year of college. But once I found my passions in health and fitness, it changed my priorities and habits and therefore my sleeping patterns as well. Sometimes I laugh thinking about how non-grandma-ish (is that a word?) I used to be, because it feels like part of my identity now. ;) But for real, maybe I should change my middle name to “grandma”?
I started my 6AM workout routine my sophomore year of college when I decided taking 18 credits, working and blogging back at school for the first time was a good idea. 6AM was literally the only free time I had to exercise and over the summer it had developed into an even bigger passion than before so I knew I had to make it a priority.
Flash forward more than a year and a half and here I am, still working out at 6AM and absolutely loving it. I wake up at 5AM so I have plenty of time to get dressed, have a pre-workout snack and sip on my black coffee, which means I have to prioritize my sleep. As much as I love hopping out of bed when my alarm goes off (no but really… I get so excited when it’s time to wake up), if I don’t get enough sleep, the rest of the day isn’t always a walk in the park.
So while every other college student probably doesn’t even think of going to bed before 11, I consistently go to bed at 9 or 9:30. Every. Single. Night. It’s like second nature now. 9 o’clock hits and my body starts shutting down. My internal clock is really really spot on and I don't try to fight it.
And I’m so thankful that I’m in a place where I’m confident enough to just do me and not care about judgement. I know I’m different and I’m sure most 21-year-olds think it’s weird that I go to bed when most people are just starting their homework, but this lifestyle works for me and I thrive because of it.
So yes, I go to bed extremely early, I don’t stay out late partying the night away, I get tipsy off of three sips of wine (no but for real) and my body doesn’t know how to sleep in, but I no longer try to fight this simply because it isn’t the “norm.” It’s my norm.
Okay, story time. Last weekend my parents were visiting me at school so after a day of adventuring and going to the farmers market we went to a cute little town and wine tasted. We went to quite a few wineries, but only got one tasting at each, so I only took a few sips at each winery. Despite that I was beyond burned out by the time we got to dinner and after filling up on (delicious) clams, fish and roasted veggies, I could barely keep my eyes open. When we got back to the cabin where my parents were staying I took a shower, changed into my pajamas and passed out by 8:30.
I caught myself continuing to apologize to my parents: “Sorry I’m such a party pooper." They just kept telling me, “Nat, STOP. You are who you are. We don’t care!”
After taking a slow morning the next day I kept thinking back on this and I realized, they’re right. I shouldn’t apologize for who I am, because I really do love who I am and how I live my life.
It became such a habit to apologize for the way I am, because it usually conflicts with what other people my age consider “fun.” I apologize for not being up at midnight to reply to a text, I apologize for not being able to stay out until 1AM, I apologize for not even wanting to try to stay out until 1AM. And I. Need. To. Stop.
I go to bed early because that’s what my body needs. I go to bed early because I prioritize sleep. I go to bed early because it allows me to thrive each and every day. I go to bed early because I wouldn’t trade my quiet 5AM mornings and killer morning workouts for the world.
Through all of this brain-dumped word-vomit I wanted to get one message across - stop apologizing for who you are. If you’re a grandma like me, or you don’t like doing the same things everyone around you does, OWN IT.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really fit in. But it doesn’t bother me because I surround myself with people who accept me for me. And most importantly, I accept me for me. So learn to accept yourself just as you are, and if you don’t fit In, try celebrating your differences instead of apologizing for them.