Confessions of a 21-Year-Old Grandma

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

XO nat

Related: 10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Freshman-Year Self, Striking a Balance With Control  

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