If you look up the word “crotchety,” you’ll find many less than flattering words. For example, Google will tell you it means irritable, with synonyms including peevish, crabby, snappy and cranky. According to Urban Dictionary, crotchety is a way to describe an old person in their golden years who hates the world and decides to take it out on the world. See also: Chelsea Cummins.
While in Ireland, I realized I was crotchety. I was practically one step away from yelling at kids for enjoying their lives too much. How does that happen to a 24 year old?
It wasn’t that long ago that I risked staying up late for a good time. I drank before meetings in college and chose a night out to studying for a quiz the next morning. I went to class unshowered and skipped the next to go shopping. Even as a recent grad, I hung out and drank with work friends making questionable decisions. I once had a party and invited underage kids and the cops came. Notice I included questionable in the description of my decisions. Nonetheless.
Without realizing it, I grew up but not in the right way. As with most situations in life, I go too far one way or the other. Turning 21 brought a lot of weird times and choices in an attempt to grow into me, only to realize I was going the wrong direction. To correct this, I jumped in the opposite way, cutting myself off from every opportunity to make poor choices. Honestly, I think this abrupt change made me less funny on Twitter.
Now I find myself a real adult. I live in a place with three floors, including a basement and washer/dryer. I have a dog. I’m leasing a new vehicle. I wake up early, work out, read my Bible and eat breakfast. I go to bed at a decent hour and decline activities that might keep me out too late.
Yes, I really am that old. And it’s really depressing.
It didn’t occur to me how tragic my existence had become until I watched several other young people in Ireland do fun young people things as I sat doing grad school work. Slowly, I put my computer down and went outside where it was windy and cold but also a great time. I realized other people weren’t the problem, I was.
This isn’t to say that all will find my life sad. For some, it may be ideal. The point of this is realizing I’m not satisfied with life which is understandably not good.
The worst part is that somewhere along the line, I forgot how much I enjoyed occasionally making the wrong choice. I pushed away the good memories and held on to the bad for reinforcement that I was doing the right thing.
Thank God for traveling to put your life into perspective.
Instead of hiding behind my schedule and responsibility, I’m ready to take chances and let myself be 24. So what if sometimes that means I stay up a little later? Eventually I won’t have these opportunities. I’ll have more than a dog that relies on me. My future responsibilities will dwarf the ones I fear now. Being young is a gift and I’m done celebrating the fact that I’m old. This is a new chapter in my life.
Chapter 1: Chelsea is the consummate good girl (1990-2011)
Chapter 2: Chelsea loses her mind a little and compromises a bit too much (2011-2013)
Chapter 3: Chelsea overcorrects her life to the point of boring tragedy (2013-2015)
Chapter 4: Chelsea finds a new perspective and embraces life (2015-?)
Prior to the writing this post, I began making small changes and decisions about my life. For example, I’m taking a trip down south at the beginning of August to see my friend Linzy because I love and miss her. I plan to start hiking with Samantha. I’m going to the Three Rivers Arts Festival this Saturday (lived in Pittsburgh for 3+ years and I’ve never been there).
Life is what you make it, and I’m done making excuses for this future where I’ll have time to enjoy myself. That time is now. #chelseafindslife