THE BIRTHDAY

Lifestyle

large (12)It’s that wonderful time of year again where I gain a wrinkle, four grey hairs and have a crisis of age.

I love birthdays.

Obviously the cards, presents and celebratory food cushion the blow, but why do I always panic when I realise that I’m another year older despite understanding – since the tender age of five – the simple concept of time?

Despite this blind, undying ignorance, birthdays aren’t all bad. Because mine happens to fall in the spring time – the season best known for new beginnings, bunny rabbits and general pinterest-worthy joyousness – I always treat them like a second New Year. I pledge vows to myself and set targets for the year ahead by reflecting on the things I’d have done differently, and of course, I rarely stick to my promises. So I thought, why break the habit of a life time?

Because I’m older, and a little wiser now. That’s why.

It’s essential to think about improvement, but it’s equally as important to realise how far you’ve come. So I will start by thinking about the things that I know now, that I wish I knew then.

Here goes:

One. Things take time. This includes everything from projects, to love.

Don’t. Rush. Anything.

Two. Most people deserve a second chance. Rarely do people deserve a third.

Three. Do not, under any circumstances, fad diet. Just maybe cut down on the Kit Kats.

Four. Yoga is a whole lot more than stretching in tight pants. The older you get, the more you’ll realise this.

And five. Having fewer good friends is better than having lots of shit ones.

I could go on and on, as 25 years is actually quite a long time, but the gist is this: things will always be okay. Yes, I have had my heartbroken, but it’s fixed now. Of course, I have failed at things, but I’ve succeeded in so many others. And, much like you, I cut my own hair once. Badly. But it’s grown out now. What I’m trying to say is, despite living with these goddamn freckles and a butt the size of Narnia my entire life, there are plenty of people who would kill to be you or I. So instead of trying to better ourselves each year, why not give ourselves a pat on the back, just for making it this far? Because life isn’t always a lemon sorbet on The Serpentine, if you know what I mean? And we’re probably doing alright, considering.

Behind a haze of pollution and astonishing drink prices, it’s really rather easy to forget why you’re alive, but when your birthday swings round, and people come together just to celebrate the simple fact that you were born, it all, very suddenly, becomes oh so clear.

Always be thankful for what you have. And I’m not talking about that new camera.

Happy Birthday to me.

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The Time

Lifestyle

2d399a47860d41535c4f3b75d984d259It’s happening. I know I’ve said I’ve been worried about it before. But it is actually happening now:

Engagements.

Weddings.

House Warmings.

Wanted pregnancies.

At what point did it become not-okay to turn to someone who tells you that they are with child and whisper ‘Jeez, what are you gonna do?’ Oh yeah, when I turned 25.

Not to be crass about the whole thing but when the bloody hell did this all start?! I’m still not sure what’s allowed to go into a dish washer yet and people are cracking right on with diamonds and breast pumps. Not at the same time obviously; I am not friends with Kim Kardashian.

It’s funny though, when these Facebook statuses began to crop up on a daily basis and paper invites were flying through the door, my initial reaction was to panic and whip out the wrinkle cream. Then I began to realise that less and less was I hearing of sloppy one night stands; regales of nightmare house-shares and trips to the STI clinic. Instead, I was watching my friends grow up and find happiness from stability: albeit a little scary, it’s also quite lovely.

Last week, I attended an event at my old school. I had a new found appreciation for the architecture which made feel a little decrepit when a group of girls, five years below, almost pushed me over the edge. I overheard them say, ‘I wonder if I’ll be like that when I’m older’ (I’m assuming by ‘that’, they meant ‘bearing an uncanny resemblance to a younger Kate Moss, with the sass of Beyoncé and the successes of Barack Obama). Actually what they probably meant was simply, ‘I wonder if we’ll be okay?’ Of course, on the surface we can all seem fine and even the happiest of creatures have a chapter of their lives that they don’t wish to read aloud, but it made me realise: we’ve all turned out alright, actually.

I’m not saying that everybody, at the age of 25, or even 45 for that matter, should be forcing themselves to take the next step in work, life or love. With a boyfriend who has a similar mental age to my own and me being, shall we say, a little uncertain in terms of my career, I am far from there, but it’s actually quite cool that I get to be a guest at my best friend’s wedding next year, and I am over the moon for my pal, who after years of doing long distance, is moving into a home with her lover. Equally, I am enjoying my friend’s stories of dating, their successes at work, and my brother and his girlfriend’s decision to go travelling at 27. It seems like people are finally getting their shit together, in one way or another, and I like it.

I refuse to let these changes scare me. I will, instead, wear something completely ridiculous on my head to this wedding next year and toast to her happiness, with one or ten glasses of Prosecco. And the same will stand for every social occasion for the next five years.

Here’s to our late twenties!

GULP.

The Twenties

Lifestyle

ImageIn my final year of secondary school I was asked where I’d like to be in ten years time. I had pictured that, at 25, I’d have a tall, dark, handsome non-stranger and a job that didn’t involve autism and nits. Now, almost halfway through this decade of not-achieving-that, I’m contemplating exactly where these ideals were lost and when it became wrong to desire a pristine portrait of a life?

A 24, I feel a little too old to be getting with randoms in clubs, a little too poor to be dating all the time and a little too young to be contemplating picket fences and the perks of Peter Jones. But at the same time, I want babies eventually and that clock is, believe it or not, ticking. This probably means that I should at least be attempting to find The One before my face crumples with age; but where? Everyone is far too drunk in bars in Brixton for me to decide whether they’re going to be the love of my life and I’m having too much of a good time to care.

I look at my friends who are blissfully in love and can’t wait for them to get hitched. But the thought of me being more than a pissed bridesmaid makes me want to throw up in my own hands. In fact no, if it scared me that much, I wouldn’t be writing this post. It’s the very fact that I don’t want for either which is the problem.

And that’s when I realise: It’s just not a priority of mine right now.

Gone are the days of Mrs Bennet frantically marrying off her daughters to men in mansions; I’ve moved into the twenties which means that I actually own my own uterus. I’m allowed to be decadent, free and drunk; for now at least.

Until I absolutely have to, I’m going to stop worrying about it.

And worst comes to worst?  I’ll freeze some eggs.

Too much info?

Never.