Wednesday, 20 January 2016

On Becoming a Grown-Up


I turned 26 at the weekend, and through all the cries of, 'How does it feel to be on the wrong side of your twenties?' and, 'It's all downhill from now!' I got to thinking about what it means to get older and to become an 'adult.'

As children, we imitate our parents and the adult world we see around us, playing at families, imagining what we'll 'be' when we grow up. In our pre-teens, we idolise our favourite celebrities, wanting to be just like those perfect, pretty people with their perfect, pretty lives. And then we hit our teens and we just can't wait to grow up, when we can do whatever we want because life is just so unfair. But suddenly, in what seems like the blink of an eye, we are adults. We have responsibilities, bills to pay, jobs to go to...and we wonder why on earth we ever used to wish our lives away.

In the last 12 months, I've moved out of my parents' house and in with my boyfriend. I've got a new job with a decent salary and more responsibility, and finally started paying off my student loan. I've seen a childhood friend marry her soul-mate. I feel like I might be turning into a bona-fide adult. But you know what? I've also been on some hilarious nights out, dressed up as Guy Fawkes for a Famous Northerners fancy dress party, been on a girls' weekend in Copenhagen, danced my bum off in Ibiza, and celebrated turning 26 with a big party in my new flat...who says adulthood has to be dull?

I'm now closer to my 30th birthday than my 20th, and I'm just going to keep getting older. Media and society tells me that's a bad thing, especially as a woman. From Hollywood's reluctance to cast women over 30 as romantic leads, to beauty brands pushing the latest anti-wrinkle miracle cream, we fetishise youth and obsess over ways to cling onto it. But we're forgetting the beauty of age, the confidence that comes with greater self-knowledge, the ability to shape our own lives. Over the past year I've found a couple of grey hairs in my fringe, and I can't help noticing the tiny smile lines at the corners of my eyes. But after the initial shock, I'm already over it. I have more confidence than I've ever had, because I'm starting to realise that I don't need to care what other people think of me. Gone is the hormonal anxiety of my teenage years, and the uncertainty of my time as a student and a recent graduate.

It's not that I didn't enjoy being younger, and I'm certainly not saying I have my life sorted down to a tee. But I have come to the realisation that getting older is actually OK. It's nothing to be afraid of. I guess I've grown into myself - I'm comfortable with who I am, I have a wonderful group of friends who I know I'll be in touch with ten, twenty years down the line, and I'm excited for what life has in store for me. My idols in this growing up 'journey' of mine are four ladies called Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. Yes, they're fictional characters, but Sex and the City taught us that being an independent, empowered, grown-ass woman is something to aspire to, and that the fun doesn't have to end when you pass your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.

3 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you! I feel the same (I'm 27)!!

    http://www.alovelystyle.com/

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  2. Lovely blog!It's so nice to read it!maybe we could follow each other if you want, just let me know and I'll follow you right back :)
    Laura xx
    http://gowestyoungcowgirl.blogspot.it/

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