For my twenty-fifth birthday I imagined I’d write a blog post about how I’m embracing the other end of my twenties and taking it all in my stride, but in reality this milestone is one I’d been dreading for months.
I’m not entirely sure why, but whenever I’ve thought about turning twenty-five I’ve been getting that *drop on a rollercoaster* feeling in my stomach.
I actually Tweeted about this back in October and never expected so many people to reply and say they felt the same. Most actually said they feared twenty-five more than thirty, or forty, or fifty. Which is crazy when it’s still so young.
So what is it that feels weird about turning twenty-five when really it’s just like any other year?
Let’s get the stupid things out the way first – the most recent one being age brackets. The other day I saw a post about the election saying 18-24 year olds primarily voted X and 25-49 year olds primarily voted X.
I am now officially in that older bracket and eighteen feels like a lifetime ago. What was I even doing at eighteen? I think I’d just passed my driving test and I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I couldn’t even tell you how I celebrated turning eighteen to be honest.
After age brackets, it’s things like having younger people start working in the office and no longer being the youngest, which was the case for me three jobs in a row. And not really getting ID’d for things (thanks wrinkles). And realising you’re now far closer to thirty than twenty.
I could go on.
A lot of people have said to me: “I had a quarter life crisis because I thought I’d have a house, and a boyfriend and a plan for more by that point.”
I never necessarily set myself a goal to have those things at this age, but I have them and I still feel like I haven’t achieved enough? It just goes to show that what you think you want, or need, isn’t always the answer.
So, have I achieved enough? I have in the sense that I have good health, a supportive and wonderful family, an amazing fiancé who I’ve spent over eight years with, friends who I know will always be there for me, a lovely first home (and a second one to move into soon), a cat who is very much a big part of the family, a blog that I’ve spent five years building, and a career that I’m proud of.
But could I have done more? Always. And naturally it’s what I haven’t achieved that I tend to focus on. Why do we always do that?
This is one of the things that’s really been grating on me lately. I love blogging and have no intention of packing it all in, but spending five years trying to make something a success and seeing people doing it in a third of the time is tough.
I recently met a very very successful blogger. She asked me how long I’d been blogging and when I said five years she said “wow, that’s ages!”. All the way home I was thinking, Christ five years and 100+ blog views in a day is still a celebratory moment for me. I’ve worked with a few brands, but when it comes to money I’ve made about £50 on Google Adsense. Just to keep it real!
I fully appreciate that only a fraction of bloggers ‘make it’, and to be honest I’m not sure I’d ever want to even reach that level of blogging because of all the hate and speculation that comes with it, but I do feel like I should have achieved a bit more with this blog of mine in the way of page views, brand collaborations and paid opportunities.
Maybe 2020 is my year for blogging?
I am extremely excited about the next few years, don’t get me wrong, but these years do come with their fears too.
The first being marriage. Everyone close to me knows how I’m beside myself with excitement at getting married, especially as I’ve always been wedding mad, but every time I see a marriage fall apart it fills me with terror that marriage will ruin what Darryl and I have.
I know that a) it doesn’t happen to everyone and b) you just have to work at if it all starts going wrong, but I’ve seen many lives destroyed because of bad endings, so you can’t blame me for being scared.
The second is children. You can’t always plan these things but we’d always said we would love to have our first child thirty. But now that’s only five years away, it feels scarily soon. Do I even want kids at all? I’m selfish and I want to travel endlessly, we both do.
I’m sure loads of other people feel the same with this!
People come and go in your life from the moment you start school, but when you’re an adult and you understand things more, some of the changes in your circles really hurt.
I see those big groups of friends who have grown up together and sometimes I wish I had that. I have a small circle of wonderful friends, but when you only have a select few, losing one feels a bit like losing a limb.
Personally I’ve had big changes in both family and friend circles in the last few years, and it’s the ones in my family that have caused me to massively put my guard up with relationships. So making new friends and building new relationships isn’t something I’m very good at anymore.
What scares me the most is that there are no doubt more changes in circles to come between twenty-five and thirty.
I realise that everything you’ve just read does seem quite negative, after all it was intended to be a very honest post on how I’ve been feeling the last few months, but to end on a lighter note here are a few amazing things that have happened whilst being twenty-four…
First, I found a slither of confidence which has led me to attend events alone and actually hold conversations with people I’ve never met. For a shy girl this is a big achievement!
In the summer we bought a new house, which we’re very close to moving into. This will be our second home and I can’t wait!
Then I realised I wasn’t happy in a job and made the ever-risky decision to leave, which has absolutely paid off in a number of ways. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Over the year I travelled to eight new places, proving once more that travel can be done around a 9 to 5 on a lemonade budget.
This is just a snapshot of the good things that happened in my year of being twenty-four, and if you were a part of it, thank you!
Surprise surprise, I actually feel no different being twenty-five. I knew I wouldn’t, but regardless I let the fear of that number take over my life for months. I’m so glad it’s all over… for another five years at least!
I want to end this post with a quote which I’ll continue to remind myself of throughout my year of being twenty-five, and future birthdays:
“Living to see yet another wonderful year is a priceless blessing.”
We should all remember this more.
Did turning twenty-five freak you out too? Let me know on Twitter!