I awoke on Saturday morning, wide eyed and anxious to address the birthday-sized elephant in the room. Despite being a mere day older in my head, I seemed to have gained a whole year on my age overnight. 24. Where did the last year of my life go? Had I frittered it away, along with all that money I had squandered on outfits I would only ever wear once?
When I originally considered writing a post that addressed turning 24 (this consideration taking place a whole 2 days ago) I thought of the various ways I could tackle it. Should I write about everything I felt I had achieved in the last year? Do I list all the things I hope the year ahead had in store for me? Alas, the answer was no. It was time for to be serious, shake off the sugarcoating and address this in an honest blog post; growing up is scary.
It’s not that I dislike the idea of getting older. There are certain securities that come with age and I know I’d benefit from, i.e. spending more money on candles than pre-drinks and not giving a fuck if you don’t know all the latest internet slang. I could look forward to reading hard hitting and topical news stories, rather than reverting to Snapchat news for any glimpse into whether Kylie Jenner is pregnant (honestly, the secrecy is killing me!). But it’s not the things to come that worry me. It’s the time I’m spending right now that has me in a state.
Typically your twenties are seen as a time of transition. It’s that bit before becoming a fully fledged adult where you are still allowed time to figure stuff out. But there is forever a conflict as you find yourself between being responsible and being reckless. Part of me wants to go to Ibiza, part of me is annoyed that I can’t put more money in my ‘help to buy ISA’. Around me I have friends settling down to have babies, and others dropping all ties at home to travel the world. Which category do I fall into? What kind of person do I want to be? Too many hard hitting questions for my scatty post-teen brain to handle.
There’s also the added pressure of the responsibility that develops with age. When you’re in your early twenties, no one cares what your job is. You’re still working stuff out. But as you near your late 20s, you really need to be seen as having your shit together (even if you don’t) because it’s no longer accepted to coast by.
It’s at times like these that I like to take a step back and take a look at myself and how far i have come. I’ve grown up a lot in the past few years, experienced new and exciting things which in turn have added greater depths to my character. Although I’m still not great at cooking or parallel parking, my strengths have flourished elsewhere; I’m more independent, find it easier to talk to strangers and don’t hyperventilate at the thought of public speaking.
In some ways all these things matters a great deal and in some ways they really don’t matter at all. The most wasteful thing I could do with my youth is spend it worrying about what’s next rather than enjoying what I’m experiencing at present.
Things will figure out in the end.