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.