I went out for my cousins 23rd birthday last weekend. We were born 11 months apart, so this is the one month of the year where we are the same age.
In January I will be 24.
Somehow 24 sounds, like, properly grown up. It is basically mid-twenties. I thought people in their mid-twenties had a better idea of what they were doing than this?! Judging on my friends of the same age, I’d say we still have no clue.
Saying that, I am not giving myself much credit. I can look back on how I was when I was 18 and recognise that I have maybe grown up a bit.
Sometimes these changes can be unpleasant. My hangovers are no longer just a bit of a headache for a few hours. They are now things that last at least half the day and usually involve throwing up as well as a headache. This has made me a more responsible drinker, to the point where I now get gently mocked for trying to alternate my alcoholic drinks with water. It has not really stopped the hangovers yet, I think the key is to drink more water and less alcohol. I’ll get there.
Most of the time, however, these changes are good. Job interviews are no longer these terrifying things that fill me with dread. I can talk to people older than me without freaking out and worrying if they think I am a fool. I am definitely less awkward.
Being happily single for the first 19 years of my life combined with having divorced parents made me a little bit cynical and negative about relationships. I thought that they made people boring or stopped them from fulfilling their dreams, or that everyone was just settling.
This can be the case, but they can also be great and make you an even better person. It is more to do with each individual relationship, and it is only recently that I have properly let go of those thoughts of relationships suck and have embraced that actually, they are what you make of them. If you are with the right person, then it is pretty exciting.
Some of the things I have realised are actually a bit of a relief. On finishing university without having a career planned out, it was nice to eventually realise that was okay. There seems to be a lot of pressure on university graduates to go into a great career straight away. But the real world is so different to university, people need time to figure it all out, regardless of how educated they are!
I was talking to a woman at work about how direction-less I am and she likened education to being on a treadmill, and when you graduate, you kind of just fall off the end of it. I found myself nodding and thinking that’s exactly what it’s like!
Life is not as structured as it was when I was in education, but now that I am used to it I kind of like it. It gives me time to try other things, like blogging and learning French, and toying with the idea of going travelling with R. Not having everything planned out is nowhere near as terrifying as I thought it was.
So bring on being 24!