When I was little, I 100% thought I’d have my life together in my twenties.
I vividly remember thinking about things I’d be able to do when I was older, and thinking how LUCKY I’d be to finally be able to do them. Like eat tuna mayonnaise straight out of the bowl (admittedly weird), and buying high sparkly heels, and having loads of pets, and all other things that little girls want to do but aren’t allowed. I had this big life plan, too, that I would be married by X age and pod out a demon-baby X years after, and I’d be this high-flying career woman with swishy hair and co-ordinating underwear. And now, I’m 23, and my life looks ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE I THOUGHT IT WOULD.
A lot of the things I hoped for were, admittedly, a little presumptuous. I am nowhere near getting married, for example; now I’m a proper adult I realise that there are certain HUGE LIFE-CHANGING STAGES probably required before you settle down – buying a house together, having a joint bank account, not arguing about who takes the bin out – and I can’t do any of those yet. As for having a child is concerned: I’m fairly sure I killed an artificial cactus the other week, and I do not own a single pair of matching socks, so I should categorically not be in charge of an infant. Plus, there’s the hovering question in my mind as to whether I even want babies (yet, or ever), and I can’t quite settle on an answer for that one. Can you come back to me?
Career-wise: when does a job become a career? At which stage in my life am I a real proper career-woman, because, at the mo, I feel like a total fraud: I wear trainers to work and listen to Spotify in my headphones and take Instagram flatlays at my desk, and no-one minds. I thought a career was scary briefcases and lots of very important meetings, but it doesn’t seem to be – yet. Will I ever get there? Do I even want to?
And then there are the little things I wanted: swishy hair. High heels. Lots of pets. Sadly, my hair is dry and brittle and made up of stress-induced dry-shampooing and clip-in extensions; my heels are high, but my stupid broken ankles mean I err way more on the side of trainers these days. I have literally no time in the morning for matching underwear, and very much fall into the camp of who even cares when it comes to sassy co-ordinating sets.
Pets? My boyfriend sucks and doesn’t like cats. So no.*
My friends and I often have conversations marvelling at the fact that our lives are oh-so different to what we thought they’d be like; it seems crazy that a mere five years ago, when I was finishing up with my A-levels, I was so sure that I’d have everything figured out soon. I thought I’d be settled and sorted, and it’s becoming crystal clear that I’m really, just…not.
But. Maybe that’s okay? Maybe the unpredictability of being a (shudder) young adult is what makes it all the more interesting, and all the more of a (shuddering harder) learning curve. If I get to fifty and I’ve still got no idea, maybe I’ll start to worry – but for now, I’ve mastered eating tuna mayo out of the bowl, so that’s something.
*My landlords also suck. My hours at the office suck. I feel I’m blaming him for this one, but it’s probably a very small reasoning why we don’t have a plethora of animals frolicking around. If you’re reading this: sorry.