The way I see it, there are four stages to adulthood. Firstly, there’s that day you set sail for university, complete with litres of vodka, Wilkinsons cutlery and soon-to-be regrets. You feel like you’re a real adult because you have to make your own hangover breakfast, pay bills and you can essentially do what you want without anyone getting in the way – even if that is playing N64 at 3am with your flatmate.
Then, a few years later, you hit upon stage two, the utterly terrifying finding-your-feet stage, the stage that can take weeks or even years as a very lost post-grad. Why cant you get a job? WHY are you spending your dole money on exotic holidays? Should you have even gone to uni? Should you have stayed at home and had 3+ babies with your high school sweetheart and worked part-time as a waitress and drunk even more WKDs? Mostly the question you find yourself asking is: WHEN WILL LIFE GET GOOD AGAIN?!? This horrendous stage normally entails some questionable career moves and even more questionable flatmates and boyfriends, whilst sobbing relentlessly about your poor life choices.
Next up is stage three which brings with it the stable career, marriage and babies – yikes. Followed by stage four, which is when you mature into a wise willow tree of an OAP and get OLD, real old. Like there’s no-one (aside from the world record holding oldest person in the world) who thinks you’re young. Just think about that for a moment. Think and cry and inhale wine.
So really, when put plainly, it’s scary, innit? There’s probably a 3.5 stage too, which is a mid-life crisis based on all the things you missed out on during stages one and two. Which if you think about it now, is probably good reasoning for doing all those horrendously reckless things in the first place and getting them out of your system. So take a moment to pat yourself on the back for your clever forward-planning. All your mistakes and misevdeavours early on in life have probably helped you avoid any affairs, sports cars and questionable haircuts later in life.
Right now, I guess I’d put myself at a late stage two. I live on my own, I’m settled into my own life in Leyton, i have a cat, and I’ve got a good job, some days it’s great in fact. So good, that there are times, normally after a few glasses of Malbec (there’s nothing that says adulthood more plainly than an expensive red, FYI) when I sit back and think “Fuck, how did I get here?” Because even through all the drunken tears and mistakes that would make a TREMENDOUS novel some day, I’ve got to a place in my life I’d of been darn proud of if you’d told me if be here ten years back. Although it’s exciting, it’s terribly daunting and terrifying that I’ve gone from full on student booze hound to an editor, EDITOR, in what seems like no time at all. It feels as though I’ve gone from skipping college lessons in favour of McDonalds, to bossing around a team of four in what could so easily be a few months. I have moments when all I want is to build exquisite dens made of pillows and blankets and play Pokemon Red and eat crisps and wear trackies from the Nike Junior section. What the most OHMUFUCKINGGOD thing about it all is, is that stage three has to come next. The REAL adulthood stage, the bit where you’re really not supposed to fuck up, or get so drunk you lose your bank cards and smash your phone screen. How mesmerisingly ridiculous is that, eh?
My point is, my dear friends, we are getting old. Like proper our parents old, and we have two choices. We either carry on living as though it were 10 years ago (I’m looking at you Aaron Carter, time to give it up) or we sorta, well, embrace it.
I guess my job and my life suggest I’ve already embraced it, although at least once a week I look at where I am and how far I’ve come and I listen to S Club 7, and wear the same pyjama shorts I wore to New York when I was twelve (true story) and I eat a Pot Noodle, because let’s face it, growing up is scarier than watching Crimewatch on your own and it’s okay to have moments when you let yourself feel 5 years old again.