Do you like septum piercings? Cos I do, a lot actually. Perhaps more than I did a week ago? They’re just so cool and edgy, and make your face look super-badass. A lot of cool people have them like Bella Thorne, she’s hot and cool and, 19? Ish?Two days ago I turned 25 (cue a string of posts about age because i’m lazy and suffering from writer’s block), a quarter of a century, otherwise known as halfway to 50. I’m closer to getting wrinkles than I am to smooth baby-soft skin. Now i’m 25, maybe i’m too old for things like septum piercings.
I’ve already got a few grey hairs, and I imagine it only gets worse from here. If I thought my hangovers were bad now, they’re about to get a lot worse and i’m sure my perpetual battle with my non-existent metabolism is about to become a whole lot bloodier…
Something about 25 feels much older than 24. My denial about being in my “early twenties” is coming to a slow and painful end because 25 is the very definition of mid-twenties. I’m not sure i’m ready to be a mid-twenty. Mid-twenty comes with a lot of responsibility and wisdom that young-twenty doesn’t. Young twenty is puking on the floor outside the KFC in Camden, mid-twenty is sipping overpriced wine at some pretentious bar in Soho. Am I a puker or a wanker? I’m just not sure.
Mid-twenty to *breathes uncomfortably* thirty has a lot to live up to. The five years between and including 20 and 25 was a time of huge personal development. I got an undergraduate and a masters degree then moved to London and started my first proper job. I met my boyfriend, I made a load of friends and drifted away from a few. My views really changed too, I really never thought before I spoke when I was younger, and as a result have plenty of skin-crawl moments I just wish I could erase from my consciousness. The past five years taught me to listen and to think harder about the facts at hand. I have also managed to conjure up some sort of self-worth as the years have gone on; I allowed myself to be treated like shit by too many people years ago, and now i’m far more ‘take no shit’ than ‘treat like shit’. To be honest, i’m really proud of who i’ve become throughout the last five years, and honestly, I wouldn’t change a damn thing.
Now while it’s obviously lovely that i’m all enlightened and happy, i’m also ambitious as hell and incredibly worried I won’t live up to my own ridiculous expectations. Mid-twenty stresses me because I can’t help but compare myself to my peers of the same age; some didn’t faff around taking gap yah’s or doing a masters, and so they’re two years further into their career. I also picked a job that doesn’t come with a great starting salary, and so i’m well used to being one of the poorer members of my friendship group – a fact I find uncomfortable and more than a bit embarrassing.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on “big real life stuff”. I haven’t even begun to save for a deposit for a house and living in London on my salary I have no idea when I will. There are people my age who I went to school with that are actually married. Don’t get me wrong – I love Rai more than anything in the world, but marriage still feels like this weird grown up institution that proper people do when they’ve been together for years and years and have lots of money to spare. Oh, and my first reaction were I to get knocked up would definitely still be “omg my mum is gonna kill me”.
Fortunately the “big real life stuff” isn’t too concerning to me at the moment, because i’m still very much in the majority with the non-engaged, generation rent, child-free brigade. The “yuppies” if you will, but without all the money that comes with that title.
So am I ready for 25? I suppose so. I’ve ticked a lot of the boxes you’re “supposed” to tick by 25, and i’m not so far off the ones I’m yet to accomplish. One thing I really do regret and wish i’d done better is my gap yah. It was my golden opportunity to travel, but my personal life got in the way, feelings clouded my better judgement and naivety meant no grand plans ever materialised; but hey, at least I took shrooms in Thailand like literally everybody who has ever taken a gap yah.
The next five years will be so different from the last, and like the last five, I can’t even begin to predict what might happen. I love knowing that life could take me anywhere in the world, and that i’m likely to meet all sorts of wonderful and interesting people along the way. Perhaps i’ll end up working for a broadcaster like Sky or BBC, or maybe i’ll end up writing for a national newspaper. Perhaps i’ll stay put and move up the food chain, and in five years time i’ll be editing a magazine and taking the baby journalists through their fledgling steps in the industry. Maybe i’ll have packed it all in a sold my soul to a finance company purely for the money, or perhaps i’ll be off partying on the other side of the world somewhere. Who can tell?
I guess it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect some of the “big real life stuff” to happen, too. Rai and I are great, and i’d like to think that he’ll put a ring on it at some stage in the next five years (or at least be thinking about it). It’s theoretically possible I could become a parent, but quite honestly that thought absolutely terrifies and repulses me and I still hate kids far too much to even seriously consider it as a real possibility. I very much doubt i’ll be a homeowner by 30 – if I am, something has gone very, very right. Or my entire family has died and things have gone horribly wrong… Ah the ever unpredictable twists and turns of adult life.
It’s odd – since i’ve been writing this i’ve actually become really excited about the future. Fuck it, no, i’m not having a quarter life crisis, maybe I just like septum piercings because they’re cool. Maybe I will get a septum piercing because i’m a strong confident woman and I want one. I’ve decided that being 25 is great. You’re old enough to know your own mind and trust your instincts, but young enough to make terrible mistakes and bounce back relatively unscathed. Life is exciting and unpredictable and full of opportunities if only you look in the right place. Life, is fucking great actually.
25, I am ready.