Hello, lovely reader! I hope that the universe is treating you with kindly good humour today.
I turned twenty-six last week, and it’s been a bit of a surreal experience. As someone who loves a bargain, I am already mourning the loss of discounts available to the 16-25 age group. (“You want me to pay MORE than £5 for a theatre ticket now? WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN?!”) Up until this point I have always thought of the ageing process in the same way that I regard the stock market: a baffling, abstract concept that will probably have an impact on my life at some point, but is essentially just a random number thingy.
I’ve only been twenty-six for a few days, but I already think that I’m going to be ok at it. This is largely because my age may as well be a randomly generated number if my lifestyle, habits and friends are anything to go by. Here is a list of reasons why your age is inconsequential:
1) Your sense of humour doesn’t really change. For instance, I love the film Despicable Me, and if there ever comes a day when I don’t laugh at this moment, you have my permission to shoot me. Funny is funny, no matter how old you are.
2) You will always, always be able to get into ridiculous situations. I was waiting for a train the other day, and I got my earphones so badly tangled in my hair that I had to go to the station bathrooms and use a mirror to get myself sorted out. Is that the smooth, sophisticated behaviour of a woman in her mid/late twenties? Absolutely not. But things like that will still be happening to us during our retirement, so it’s as well to accept them.
3) Your friends will never see you as your true age. One of my favourite people on the planet is getting married in a few weeks, and it seems bizarre to me that she is anything other than a twenty-one year-old drama student who enjoys impersonating velociraptors. (I mean, she still enjoys impersonating velociraptors…but she’s also taking a huge step into adulthood, which is awesome but weird.) As you get older your friends start to do things that make you even more proud of them, such as relationship commitments and career moves, and you celebrate those with them. You wouldn’t turn up to your friend’s engagement party and mock them for being elderly, would you? Precisely. Age is not important, but life choices are.
4) Speaking of life choices, I would like to address this whole “if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life by the time you hit twenty then you have already failed” myth. No matter how old you are, you have to make decisions about yourself and your life based on what is going to make you happy and/or be good for you. If you still don’t know what you want to do when you’ve been out of university for six months or even six years, you are not a freak. You are totally normal, and you mustn’t panic. Case in point: my dad is sixty and he just changed jobs, so what does that tell you?
5) When my dad changed jobs, he was delighted to discover that the dress code at his new office was casual. He is now the proud owner of a pair of “basketball boots”. This leads me neatly on to my next point: clothes that makes you happy. As small children we delighted in Disney or superhero costumes; as teenagers we were ecstatic to wear more adult items like heels or suits (or both). There comes a point in life when we seem to abandon our garment-based glee and exchange it for obligatory outfits: “I need a new dress for this wedding”, “I have to buy some proper work clothes”, etc. We should enjoy our clothes no matter how old we are. For example, as I write this I am sporting a very fetching pair of turquoise harem pants, and I feel like Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin. I’m not even the slightest bit embarrassed by that. In fact, I shall probably wear this very outfit to the pub tonight (although perhaps I should abandon the purple slipper socks).
I hope that you are happy in yourself no matter how old you are, and that you can see your future birthdays as opportunities to be proud of everything you’ve achieved. Now, where is that handsome young man on a magic carpet?
Have a smashing day!