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Turning 25 was as scary as everyone said it wasn’t

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I’m so groggy as a write this. It’s my first day as a part-time Metro staffer, part-time blogger, and naturally, I just had an afternoon snooze whilst catching up on Downton Abbey.

I’m never going to get any real work done am I? In other sterling news there are some wonderful whisps of red wine and beef coming from the oven, and i’ve got the ingredients for a delightful raspberry sponge sitting on the side. So maybe i’ll just become a serial housewife instead?

I turned 25 last week, and, rather surprisingly I sobbed the entire way through it.

I’d like to admit to downing copious amounts of Apple Sourz whilst I was working from home that day (Wednesday 17th September, so just so… y’know, you can set the scene in your head), but the sad, sad truth is that I wasn’t crying tears of excess alcohol, I was crying tears of being absolutely bloody overwhelmed.

My day started off sweetly, me and Chris woke up early so we could have a swish breakfast of salmon, bagels, eggs and coffee before both getting down to work – me, at the dining table surrounded by birthday flowers, cards and chocolate, him at an office in Essex somewhere.

Mostly I knew something was wrong when I spent the first hour of my day listening to Ne-Yo trying desperately to cling on to my fast-dwindling youth and previous birthday celebrations spent getting steaming drunk in nightclubs. So yeah, that was my way of acting like a man having a mid-life crisis and painting his lounge Ribena berry purple.

I’m still not entirely sure why I kept welling up in monumental amounts, but it probably can be best explained by an answer phone message left from my mother that wished me well on ‘the next era of my life’.

THE NEXT FUCKING ERA.

Guys, I’m in  a new era.

A different era.

A new chapter, a different stage of life. What even is this?

Being born in September means that all your closest school friends have time to get used to you turning another year older before they actually do. So when 25 comes whopping you around the head next year, you’ll be prepared, because it’s OK, because at least your mighty fine old friend Hannah, is well, old.

25 came as quite a shock – i’m now closer to 30 than 20 – but what came as an even greater shock is just how many of my friends felt that the best way to wish me Happy Birthday was to do so in a way of utter belief. ‘You’re 25! My life plan says I should be having babies at 25!’ ‘I can’t believe we all said we’d have babies at 26 and now look at you’ ‘I was hoping to get married at 25, but look at you.’ And it goes on.

My tears were tears of OMFG WHAT IS THIS, but more of it, I guess, was tears of disbelief at myself.

I had this overwhelming sense of pride that i’d got to 25 and I had managed to succeed at life in a way in which even all my life plans, carefully discussed at sixth form, wouldn’t have alluded to.

I made it to 25 without accidentally getting pregnant, or dying from alcohol poisoning, or failing my degree.

And I guess I always knew, deep down, that I would be OK, that I had this innate drive to want to succeed and better my life, but I always sort of guessed, and i’m sure a lot of friends and family would agree, that I would fall by the wayside somewhere.

Turns out I didn’t, and I made it to 25 in pretty spectacular fashion. I did it. I’m here. Gimme a high five someone.

And so many people cared it was my birthday. Every time a stranger tweeted me, or something came through the letterbox, I’d well up again. It felt as though I didn’t deserve all the attention and sweet words and presents and love, and it completely threw me.

I’ve become the girl who cancels plans to drink red wine on the sofa with her boyfriend, who sees it’s someone’s birthday on Facebook and thinks ‘I’ll wish them a HB later’ and never do. I’ve become so obsessed with myself and my own life and sucked into the busy drug that is London, that I felt I didn’t deserve all the affection.

But 25 has taught me a few things: firstly, be nice always and stop being lazy with birthdays, secondly, 26 is going to be harrowing, and thirdly, I can pretty much do anything I want as long as I keep focused 80% of the time. Because let’s face it, the other 20% is allowed to go on Two for Tuesdays and Jonathan Creek and Teen Mom and late night McDonald’s drives, isn’t it?

After the tears started to calm themselves, I had a ridiculous birthday.

I had a home massage from Urban Massage complete with warm fluffy towels, candles, and a lot of work in my anxious shoulders, and a four course decadent meal with champagne and wine. So if there’s one thing that getting older teaches you, it’s that your birthdays get more luxurious and you’ll feel like Kate Middleton. So there’s that.

 You might like: OK, let’s look and when you should be getting married and having a baby



9 comments so far.
  • If it’s any consolation, you’re still only halfway between 20 and 30, rather than closer to 30!

    I checked this, so I can rebuff all the wisecracks at my upcoming 25th!

    26 will be the real one to sob at about the imminent 30! :)

  • *high five!*

    Speaking as someone who’s turning 26 in November, 25 is an awesome age to be. I finally feel like an adult, even though my life looks nothing like I thought it would, and I have no idea what I want to do next. At 25, people/politicians no longer discount you as a “Young adult” i.e. a demographic they feel they can ignore, because pfft students/young people, amirite?

    Here’s to a good year. And ignore your friends’ disbelief – they’re just scared!

  • Yvonne

    Congratulations on turning 25!!! Personally, i find you a heart-warming, breath-of-fresh-air inspiration to all woman!!

    Turning 27 on my next birthday, and finally content with what I have achieved. But only just. A huge anxiety sufferer myself, it took me a very long time to be “confident with my own achievements”. I’m happy with where i sit on the ladder of life – but you should be so proud that you have exceeded what the majority of the nation are too scared to do!!

    Just make sure that your next “era” is well documented for me to follow – already being 18 months ahead of you in the era I can promise that if its anything like mine so far, you are going to love it!! xxx

  • Happy Birthday Hannah! Great post. When I turned 25 last year, I went through a short phase of ‘OH MY FUCKING GOD I AM SO OLD, WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE?!’ Thankfully it didn’t last long and honestly, the older I get the most content I become with all aspects of my life. It’s also really important to take some time to step back and take stock of where you are in life, and how far you’ve come. Once I did that, took a moment to remember that I’ve been travelling, have lived abroad, have two degrees and a good career, entering a new era didn’t feel so scary :) great post, as always!

  • Ali

    Happy birthday fellow September 17th person! I just turned 30 & I can say it really isn’t bad at all & doesn’t feel any different than 25! Go out & have fun & enjoy the second half of your 20s lady1

  • Leanne

    My birthdays also 17th sept, although I’m a year behind you and have the dreaded 25th yet to come

  • Kate

    Happy Birthday!

    I have recently started reading your blog, its great!

    I’m 23 – 24 on october 26th (but look about 16!) and I am scared to death!
    I don’t know about you but it seems one minute you are 19 and before you know it mid 20’s, its scary how fast the time goes, but i can defiantly relate to this post, there is so much pressure for us to do things by a certain time, when really 25 is really young and we should be out enjoying our 20’s!

    xox

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  • This is comforting to know as I’m turning 25 on July 13th.. uh oh!!! Glad you had a great day tho!

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