I’ll never be as young again, as I am today. It’s a funny thing getting older, isn’t it? Here I am on my birthday, mid-way through my thirties no less, and how I got here so fast, is anybody’s guess as I’ll be damned if I’ve actually been on this planet for thirty five years.
Wasn’t I just 13, and hot-footing it to a fancy dress party with my friends dressed as the Spice Girls?
Wasn’t I just 15, getting up to no good and hiding cigarettes and vodka under my dressing table drawers?
Wasn’t I just 17 and counting down the months until I was free from school, and the days until I could spend two weeks in Ibiza with my best girls?
Wasn’t I just 22, newly graduated and writing my heart out for £500 a month at a regional lifestyle magazine?
Wasn’t I just 25? Engaged. Court reporting and parenting a budgie as opposed to a tiny human.
Wasn’t I just 27, walking down the aisle in a Vegas chapel and honeymooning in Mexico?
Wasn’t I just 29, simultaneously planning my 30th birthday party and a celebratory trip to Manhattan?
Wasn’t I just 32, pregnant, petrified and wide-eyed about the unknown?
Thirty five today, and while in so many ways I still feel 19 in my head – in many others I really do feel my age and beyond it. I look back on my twenties, not just through rose tinted glasses, but through a 24 karat gold pair, that showcase one big care free, happy adventure. Which of course it wasn’t. Partly yes, but mainly no – as of course day-to-day life throws you ups-and-downs and challenges whatever your age.
There was so much I thought I’d have worked out by now. Thirty five – I mean it’s full on adultage isn’t it? In my late teens and throughout my twenties – 35 wasn’t even an age I could imagine being. Because that’s old right?! That’s certainly what I would have quietly thought, if I’d ever considered it. But actually, now that I’m here, it doesn’t feel old at all. And while of course I’ve grown up and evolved as a person, I’m also in lots of ways exactly the same as I’ve always been. I have the same sense of humour. I love mostly the same music and films. I’d still happily sit down and spend a day watching Dawson’s Creek or The OC back-to-back (if only time allowed it!), and I think if anything my love of reality TV has grown, rather than me growing out of it. I still prioritise holidays over so many other more sensible things in life, and when I’m with my friends who have known me since that time I was Scary Spice (yes, you read that right 😉 ) it’s like time has stood still.
As I’m sure many of us do, growing up – I set my self deadlines for life goals. I wanted to be married by the time I was 26. I 100% assumed I’d have had all my babies by the time I was 30.
One thing I never set a timeline for was being a homeowner and that’s because I genuinely believed that once I was working after uni I’d be earning lots of cash, and a property would swiftly follow. I never in a million years imagined I’d be 35 and still renting. And yet here I am doing just that.
Thirty five years of age and still not done on the baby front. Thirty five, and definitely not earning cash anywhere near the salary level that I expected from 25-year-old me. Thirty five and still feeling restless because we haven’t yet booked our flights to New York for the 2018 trip that, just HAS to happen. Thirty five and wondering when I can squeeze in watching Sunday’s episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians that I still haven’t seen.
Yet as I sit here tapping away on my laptop I can’t help but wonder why I put the unnecessary pressure of age-led expectations on myself. Life isn’t like that and we shouldn’t treat as such.
So as I start this new birthday year, I’m going to flip this way of thinking on its head.
Thirty five and I’m almost eight years married to the love of my life. Thirty five and I have the most incredible joy-inducing two-year-old son. Thirty five and we live in a brilliant location, which proved perfect for when I was on maternity leave and has been ideal for Oscar’s early years – if we’d bought a property, the area we live in now would have been well out of our price range. Thirty five and I’m my own boss. Thirty five, and in so many ways the world still feels like my oyster.
Thirty five, and so much to be grateful for and to look forward to.
Now, about those flights…
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