You know when you’re 18, and somebody mentions something about making the most of your youth and how time passes by in the blink of an eye, and you think what the fuck is this old person talking about? I just want to be 21 so I can drink everywhere at all times. I’m going to feel young forever.
Yeah, well, I don’t feel like that anymore. Something is happening to me, and I can’t stop thinking about getting older. I’m obsessed and terrified at the same time, and I can almost feel myself regressing to a period of teenage pandemonium as an act of rebellion. I refuse to accept that going out on a Thursday night stops being a thing (not that I’ve actually gone out on a Thursday in however many years, but I would like the option, ok?)!
The ‘something’ which is happening to me isn’t actually a mystery. I know what it is. I’m enjoying my life a little bit too much, and now I’m starting to panic that this might be the best year of my life and then I’ll blink and be the same age as my Mum, reminiscing about when I used be young and cute and irresponsibly shitfaced every 15 minutes. (No offence intended to my Mum; she’s still mental when she’s drunk but she prefers to go bike reading every weekend now, so her priorities have shifted somewhat.)
Tee - borrowed from Keiran's floordrobe
Skirt - Zara
Shoes - Bershka
Bag - Zara
And I know it’s irrational. I know that life doesn’t stop once you “grow up”, or that growing up is even a thing. I know that if I one day I go on to have a family, my own priorities will likely change and buying Echo Falls from the corner shop at 2pm on a Tuesday will feel more “squashing my problems!!!” than “young wild ’n’ free!!!”. I also know that 2019 will probably be better than 2018, and I’ll end up refashioning this whole melodramatic spiel as yet another life revelation. None of that seems to matter, though. No matter what I tell myself, I can feel still feel that little elastic-band-ball of panic swelling inside of me, whispering what if this is the year you talk about for the rest of your life, and you’re not appreciating it as much as you could?
So that’s what’s occupying my mind at the moment. Something silly and frivolous and utterly unavoidable, but something which is worrying my nonetheless. And I had a moment the other day which probably didn’t help; sitting back, it occurred to me that my 25th birthday is 6 months away, which will take me closer to 30 than 20. 20 feels like it happened yesterday, and when I realised that - FUCK - all the things older people tell you when you’re younger is true, I started to wonder what the hell I had been doing for 5 years.
Okay, I’d got my degree, started my career, rented my first home and made the very wise decision to go blonde and never look back, but what about the fun stuff? What about the stuff that I’d pluck from my repertoire of sick stories to share whilst reminiscing around a campfire? What about the stuff that I’d tell my maybe-children not to do, because I’d done it and regretted it already? What about the stuff which would bulk out an otherwise complimentary and vanilla best-woman speech? Where were my awful shags, my vomit-in-the-back-of-a-taxis, my life-long secrets? Have I just spent 5 years of my young life being…boring?
It occurred to me that I’d adulted before my time. Up until this year, I’ve been ultra sensible (bar a few drunken rages which Keiran delights in recalling in front of new friends), and now - now the realisation that the clock keeps ticking and there’s fluff all I can do about it - I feel like I’m going a bit wild. I just want to drink all of the gin and eat exclusively McDonalds and gossip about boys and willies on WhatsApp. I don’t want to think about my tax return or eating multivitamins; age can drag me kicking and screaming into the next milestone, but I’m clinging on to my pre-adulthood with tightly-gripped toes.
I’m living in limbo at the moment, stuck between being young, dumb and full of FUN (lol, got ya) and growing up and thinking seriously about my life. I’m looking back and I’m looking forward, and do you know what? I’ve decided that I want to stay right here. 24 will do me just fine. I want to inhabit this safe mid-twenties space forever where I can enjoy both lemonade and tonic water and not have to definitively take sides. Long live the internal conflict which I feel whenever I am or am not asked for ID, the former annoying me because, duh, I’m 24, and the latter upsetting me because do these two wrinkles on my forehead make you think I’m older than I am?!?
If a quarter life crisis is a thing, then I think I’m having one. I’m paranoid that I’m not having enough fun whilst at the same time worrying about how the hell I’m ever going to buy a house, two fears which are complimented by the humming acknowledgement that nearly everyone on Love Island was younger than me this year. It does make sense and it doesn’t make sense at the same time; I know the fear is irrational, but also I can’t help but feel it. Time really does pass so quickly, and I don’t want to get to whatever stage of my life and feel like it’s slipped through my fingers.
I’m making a conscious effort to do the things I’ve always told myself I would - the things that, at 20, I assured myself I would have ticked off my list in the next few years. There’s a contradictory urgency in my life which is telling me to hurry up and slow down, to go out and party and to do stupid shit which I can ring my Mum to tell her about the next morning (we’re very close so she’s knows everything about my life, from the weird sex stuff all the way through to my bodily functions. She loves the goss though, don’t worry). It’s telling me to lay down in the park and fall asleep reading a book about women zapping men to death with lightning from their fingers. It’s telling me to demand more orgasms because you really can never have enough, and to encourage my friends to do the same. Right now I’m a chadult, halfway between growing up and resisting it with all my might.
So there you have it. I’m terrified of not being 24 and I’m worried that I’m not having enough fun, and the thought that I could wake up one day and think that I’d not appreciated the best years of my life is quietly haunting my every day. It’s nonsensical and comedic in it’s own way, but despite how silly and unimportant it may seem, I know I’m not alone in feeling the fear.
If you’re with me, do you fancy a bottle of wine?