Anyone who’s in their late twenties or thirties reading this will probably smile and do a little nod and remember back to when their life first started really changing. Because that’s the thing, life is really changing.
Oh fuck, I’m doing that thing where I’m welling up with emotion. PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, HANNAH.
You’re probably wondering where this post is going, and no, I don’t have any announcements to make or as my boyfriend’s mum keeps asking, any ‘good news’ to share. It’s just, well, this growing up thing has really started happening. Like, properly.
Whn I turned 18, I didn’t feel any different from 17, or 16, or 15. Despite being classed as an adult by society, I look back and I know I was still a kid. I wasn’t doing ‘grown up’ things. I wasn’t settling down (although – wait, no, I *thought* I was, but that’s a whole other story from a whole other time in my life), I wasn’t getting engaged or having babies or making a full time living. Heck, I couldn’t even manage owning a car or paying my phone bill.
And, even after university, at 21, I still wasn’t grown up, not properly. I was still relying on financial handouts from both my parents and the government (hello making my step mum and dad pay for my car insurance, and hello Dole money, you good friends, you).
But now it’s happening, it’s really happening.
My friends are getting engaged.
And it’s making my insides do all the feels.
Whilst away in Utah or Nevada or wherever I was, one of my friends text me to tell me she was engaged. Like a proper friend. Engaged. Getting married. I almost cried in the minibus and added tears to the list of things clinging to my Trek America t-shirt (sweat, mud, *probably* rock of some sort, and *probably* a bit of burger).
Everyone was like are you OK? Is it because YOU want to get married?
Firstly, obvs I do want to get married at some point, but I’m not going to have a temper tantrum that I’m not engaged right now in my life because I’m mildly sensible and sane. And secondly, OK, I’m not sure what my second point was. Good.
It just stunned me, took my breath away. The reality that life is changing, that people I love, the people I’ve grown up with, the people who have seen me go from living in my car (always an endless supply of tampons on tap for everyone at college) to y’know, working from home in an actual decorated OFFICE, that these people are entering a new phase of life is both terrifying and exhilirating.
Engagements and babies were always for everyone but us. They were for the irresponsible people, the people who rushed into things, the people that weren’t level-headed. They were the sort of acts that would land you tuts and looks of disappointment from your parents and relatives – and now? Now they’re a real thing that we’re ALLOWED TO DO.
That people would clasp their hands in amazement and happiness at news of either of those things now. That’s something I mentally cannot get my head around.
You grow up thinking about one day getting married, of one day having kids, but it’s always ‘one day’, you’re so far removed from it actually happening, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it creeps up on you and becomes real life.
Fuck, fuck, FUCK.
My head feels in two places. One side wants to get up and dance and sing and wave my arms around a bit with my pals and be like WE MADE IT. The other side wants to go and build a den and hide out there until I shrivel up and die.
Life is daunting, terrifying and yet so stupidly damn exciting all at the same time.
I feel emotional for the most part because I am overwhelmingly proud. Both of myself and all my friends. I am impressed that university didn’t break us, that the recession didn’t break us, that our poor employment prospects didn’t break us, that our heavy binge drinking didn’t break us, and that, well, all those late night drives to McDonald’s didn’t break us. We did good. We did really flippin’ good.
I’m not sure what the next step is for any of us. I think it’s probably mostly trying to get used to the fact that things are changing, that things have already changed.
That our text convos are less about relaying drunk stories (although I *did* attempt to ring my friend and sing Neyo’s Closer to her at 11pm from Vegas the other night, so there’s that), and more about discussing grown-up things like jobs, relationships and homes.
And as much as sometimes I miss the old days. I miss being close to my friends, I miss doing our make-up round a table whilst necking wine and discussing who we fancy, I wouldn’t ever want to change the way life is now.
The way it’s so safe and stable. The way I have control over my emotions, my finances and my career. The way I have Chris and Rudey.
Being a grown-up is the most exciting thing ever, even if every year I get older I cry a teeny tiny bit, because well, birthdays are emotional, alright?
So here is a post for everyone struggling right now and hoping that things stabilise for them, and also a post to say that life is good. Really bloody damn good and I can’t wait to see what happens next <3