Saturday, 5 July 2014
Company magazine used to have me believe that my twenties were my freedom years and this was the decade to enjoy my youth and live life to the fullest - what it didn't mention however, is that it is easier said than done.
They never mentioned that you actually needed money to do all these things and that once you finally found that full time job out of uni, it probably wouldn't pay as much as you thought. This was particularly true once you started renting your own place and had to do grown up things like paying bills and buying food.
When you're left with your dismal amount of spare money, it isn't actually that much to play with. Particularly if you're prone to bouts of shopping splurges such as me. Even if I didn't go shopping, I still wouldn't really have much leftover. So if I did want to travel the world, it would still take a fair amount of saving on my part for months on end.
There was never any mention of the fact that when you reached your twenties, many of your friends would pair up with long term partners and soon your Facebook feed would be full of babies and weddings. All of a sudden, you're thrown into a very grown up world where people your age are getting married and baring children and you've never even had a meaningful relationship and are very aware that babies and marriage are quite some years away.
Of course, we're all in different situations and everybody goes through these life milestones in their own time. I know that I'm intensely happy to bare witness to friends and family enjoying these rights of passage and be overwhelmingly happy for them. It's an honour to be part of it and see their lives progress and change. I love nothing more than a wedding and cuddling babies!
But at 24, when only 8 years ago I was 16 and finishing high school, it's pretty scary that I've been thrown from carefree teenage years to adult seriousness quite so soon. Nobody ever warns you quite how terrifying this segue to adulthood truly is and before you know it, you're worried about getting left behind.
This thought process is so stupid, because at 24, I'm still really young and have years of boring adulthood and drudgery ahead of me - but I can't help but pine 'When is it my turn?'. You see, the problem with approaching your mid twenties is the overwhelming reminder that this means you're ever closer to 30, when the real pressure to have your life figured out is truly on.
I can't help but find myself becoming ever more reminiscent of Bridget Jones, only without Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy fighting over me. What if I end up in my mid thirties in the exact position I am now? Should I really be worrying about ten years from now? Will I ever have my life figured out? Does anyone?
When I moved into my flat alone and felt weird about being in charge of bills, I asked my parents if they ever felt like a grown up. When does anybody feel like a grown up. They told me they didn't and never did. I guess you just get along, stumble your way through and figure it out.
I suppose we all find our paths eventually and things will work out how they're meant to. I need to stop comparing myself to others, but it's so hard when it seems like you're getting left behind and standing still as everyone else moves forward. I guess have quite a few more blocks to stumble over and lessons to learn. Some people are lucky and have much fewer obstacles in their way. Perhaps the challenges I've had will make me a better person, help me learn more about myself and become stronger as well as more independent. But it's often hard to keep that in mind.
So am I alone in finding my twenties a minefield? Is it easy for anyone?
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
As someone who is terminally unlucky in love, I thought I would dole some advice out about how to handle someone who has a stream of failed relationships and non starters in their back log and is just about at the end of their tether when it comes to matters of the heart.
Disclaimer: I realise this makes me seem bitter and that I will probably scare off any chance I do have of finding someone, but since I'm unlucky anyway - OH WELL. Also, I'm sure the feminist blogs would do that first.
1. Don't Mention How Many Fish There Are In The Sea
Please don't ever mention fish and sea. If there were so many fish in the goddamn sea, then why haven't we found anyone yet? You're making us feel like some kind of ugly mutant fish none of the other fishes want. Also, as true as it may or may not be, it's not really making us feel any better. It just means the search is a lot longer and vast.
2. Don't Tell Me It'll Happen When I Least Expect It
Really? How fucking magical. While I'm sure this is true and you have a friend it happened to, it just reminds me yet again that the search is long and unexpected and nobody knows when someone special might enter their life. So what if I'm 90, living alone with my grumble of pugs and given up all hope THEN somebody will come along? Ok then. Great. It's not like we're even specifically searching, but it would be nice if Prince Charming wasn't so fucking elusive.
3. "So, do you have a boyfriend yet?"
This one mainly applies to relatives you don't see much. No, I don't have a boyfriend. No I'm not seeing anyone special. TICK TOCK. TICK TOCK. Yes I am looking forward to all the family weddings that will come ahead of mine. Yes I know you were married with kids by my age. I'm sure I'm beautiful and will find someone good enough one day. ARGH *swigs wine*
4. You Have To Kiss A Lot of Frogs To Find Your Prince
Well I'm tired of kissing frogs ok? When will this search be over?! I'm sick of the slime.
5. You Can't Force Something, It'll Happen When It Happens
I also realise this. Of course it's better that something ends or never gets started rather than somebody lying and the other getting hurt further down the line and I would also never dream of being a relationship where there were no real feelings and we were just with each other for the sake of it. I understand things often happen for the best and it's better to admit it sooner rather than later but that doesn't make it hurt any less. The terminal single knows that these things happen for the best, but at the end of the day, it doesn't soften the blow of rejection once again.