Entering The Next Phase Of Adulthood

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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.

Like actually.

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

 

 

 

  • nueyork

    I’m currently at the 21 mark and I still feel like I’m in that strange “I’m a kid but I’m an adult” type limbo. The point you’re at terrifies me! I’m literally sitting here waiting for the first engagement to happen.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • Laura

    Thank you for writing this article. It is just what I needed to read. I’m struggling with living abroad and missing out on these things happening to my friends. Not only that, but they think that being in another country I don’t even need to know anymore so i don’t get the texts telling me about engagements and my best friend since I was 3 I didn’t even get an invite to the wedding. Life really does suck sometimes, I just want to go back to primary school and start over. Again, thank you so much for this article, it means a lot.

  • Syd

    Hannah ,

    I love reading your blog , being you must be exhausting though as you worry about everything:) I’m in my early 30s ( possibly even too old to be reading blogs) and expecting my 4th child , married , house , business etc …. I should technically feel very grown up but NOPE .. If I manage to make an appointment on time or do some ironing and put it away I feel like a real grown up but generally I still feel like I’m 19 , I often spend mins (hours) looking at hello kitty stuff and Japanese make up online and maybe buying it .
    Honestly just enjoy every day , marriage and kids won’t make you a different person ( kids will obvs make you VERY TIRED) you’ll still love red lipstick & pizza .
    Enjoy yourself …. Plus your off to New York soon …. Shit like that don’t happen with four kids in tow , unless your Victoria Beckham xxx

    • This is so true! I don’t think any of us ever feel like proper grown ups. When I look at photos of my parents at my age, I think ‘they look so young’, yet they were already getting ready to have my older sister, had owned several houses and moved abroad together. I think they were so sorted, yet in reality, they STILL feel like they’re not ‘proper’ adults, even though they are in their fifties and my dad just turned 70.
      Maybe we should stop worrying about what being a ‘real’ grown up means, and just enjoy it : )

  • Claire

    This post could not have come at a better time!

    The first of my friends got married on Friday and it hit me like a brick wall (in a good way, kinda) that, this is it, this is actually it.

    WE ARE GROWN UPS.

    I keep swaying from being major emosh (both happy and sad) to being completely and utterly terrified!

    Anyway, your post helped me realise that i’m not alone at least…

    Claire xxx

  • This was such a good read! I’m 21 and I’m constantly panicking that I’m not where I should be yet, however I’m 21 so should I even know?! My parents had me at 26 and I always thought, oh 26 that’s when I’ll have babies and now I’m like THAT’S 5 YEARS AWAY 5 YEARS AGO I WAS DOING GCSES nOpe.

    Maybe the prospect of an unknown ‘one day’ is enough to make me go out and live my life now before one day appears!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Totally understand you! My BFF just got married, and it’s odd changing your mindset from ‘oh shes way too young’ to oh yeah thats what we should be doing now right? We’ll get there eventually! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • Kate

    Great read Hannah! I’m 24 and in the ‘Marriage? Maybe. Kids? Never!’ camp as are most of my friends haha. I think everyone has their own definition of what it means to be adult – for me it’s all about the freedom to do as I please and go where I please, when I please. And I’m working on making that a reality, getting an actual adult job is very exciting ?

  • Holly

    I think you just wrote this from my head! Good post x

  • This post has made me feel very young,which I kinda thank you for because turning 21 last week made me quite emotional. I’m still seeing people I know from high school get pregnant with someone they have known less than a year and I sit with friends and family wondering why they’re doing that with their life. It’s strange to think I’ll one day be like ‘aww, that’s so nice! good for them!’

    x
    https://siobhanrothwell.wordpress.com/

  • I can COMPLETELY relate to this right now! It’s actually made me well up reading this, like how are we suddenly so grown up?! I turned 25 in April, and I just can’t get my head around it, how it’s normal now at this age for people to be getting engaged and having babies, two things that still utterly terrify me haha. xx

  • Nodded along to all of this. I’m turning 28 this year and feel like “real” adulthood has only just hit me – it’s terrifying but I’m trying to replace that with “exciting”. But still, friends getting married IS terrifying given that my most committed relationship is with Diet Coke…x

  • This is totes happening to me right now, too! None of my close friends have got engaged yet, but lots of my boyfriend’s friends are. It’s totally exciting, but also scary. Like, I thought I might be ready but now it’s actually happening, I want a bit more time haha. I’m not quite ready to let go of the crazy nights out and being irresponsibly hungover on a Sunday with my girls.

    One couple we know recently announced they’re having a baby. Like a real life human. Say whhhaaaa?!

  • Think you were looking into my head today. I live in a different country to all of my friends and recently went back to the UK for my BFFs wedding and cried the whole day for god knows what reason and you have just hit the nail on the head. I’m 26 and she was one of the last ones to get married and I currently feel really lost and feeling like I’m getting left behind as noooooo way do I feel ready for babies and marriage. Thanks for this post- made me feel so much better 🙂

    • Laura

      Hi Kate, I’m also in the same boat as you, living in a different country from all my friends. If you want to share any tips, get in touch. I know it can be a bit lousy at times 🙂 Laura x

  • I am 25 and until recent I thought anyone who had a child in my school year were stupid, but now I have just realised I am at an age where it is right to have children. I wouldn’t be a teen mum and it shocked me to think I am now an adult.
    xxx
    Lyndsey
    http://www.labeau.co.uk

  • Hannah I absolutely love your blog and I always wish I knew you in person so I could give you a huge cuddle and tell you it’s going to be alright!

    Anyway at 19 I moved to uni after a horrible break up with the guy I thought I would be with forever. While single I realised that ultimately he was a complete arsehole and that I forgave him for a lot of shit because I was trying to give myself a happy ever after.

    Then at 20 I turned into that girl I used to roll my eyes at! I got engaged after 4 months with a guy. I’m now nearly 25 and very happily married but here’s the twist I still don’t feel grown up!! Haha

    Charlotte | http://www.discoveringcharlotte.co.uk

  • Totally get this! I feel like the next few years will be filled with friends’ weddings and housewarmings and baby showers. It makes me equal parts thrilled and terrified.
    Sophie Cliff

  • Mel

    *squeezes this post with love* wah, you’ve hit me right in the feels with this one – it’s all SO true.

  • Kat

    I’m 23, finished uni, went travelling and now I’m back living at home, single and constantly job hunting even though I’m not even sure I’m passionate about what I studied at uni anymore!! And so many people around me have their own homes, getting engaged, married and having babies and I get moments of fuck what am I doing? What if I’m still like this at 35?? It’s such a terrifying time, your 20’s, but I try to tell myself that your 20’s if for making mistakes and figuring out what you love doing, experimenting…. and plus SO much can happen from 20 to 30! 🙂

    • Hi Kat,

      I feel your pain, I’m 24, 25 In october i graduated last year and i’m STILL LOOKING for a job! its a nightmare. and getting that job isnt as easy as people make it out to be.

      Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, Just have your own goals and aim and you will get there, no one said you have to have everything resolved as such a young age we are all still discovering everything and learning 🙂 just enjoy been in your twenties

  • a post I can really relate to! I turn 30 next year and it is already playing on my mind.

    I don’t want to get married. I thought I would want kids by now but I don’t! I worry if I will ever feel ready for something so terrifying!

    Kads Life x

  • I’m 23 and just entering this phase, it’s seriously freaking me out! My friends aren’t exactly settling, but I kinda want to? So fcking weird. Makes me so sad to think that youth is over and the worst bit is that childish optimism, the belief in POSSIBILITIES go away and you’re just like, yeah, this is as good as life gets. I guess we do just have to embrace it.

  • Suzanne

    I’m 25, have had a ‘proper job’ since I was 22, own my own home and have a two week old baby girl but I still don’t feel like a proper grown up even though I’m sure all of those things qualify me for proper adulthood. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like a real adult, even when I’m 50.

    • L

      Anyone who owns their own home EVER let alone at 25 makes me want to kill myself a bit tbh. I was born into poverty and I will die in poverty. I’m 24, am bout to fail my degree, have never been able to get a job (I have anxiety issues and some sort of “wrong” feel to me that employers pick up on although I’ve tried and keep trying to combat my issues and get work because of course that’s what you have to do!), and I live with my disabled mum. I feel like a massive twat. Sorry to be a downer, I thought maybe I would do better, but I think I’m doomed.

  • Amy

    I related to this so much! Especially in the way that while I miss getting so silly drunk on cheap vodka with my friends that we forgot to actually go to the club, it’s not because I necessarily want it back. You hit the nail on the head! xx

  • Sarah

    This was exactly what I needed to read. I’m 25 and two of my close friends got engaged recently to their partners, one of them on our shared birthday. I was happy for them both, but I was also a bit jealous I think. I think because one of the engagements happened on my birthday and we had turned the same age and then suddenly she was 25, had her birthday like me AND then got engaged, I think I felt a bit redundant and left behind. My boyfriend actually apologised that he didn’t propose to me on my birthday and I realised I was probably being jealous and selfish and should just be happy about it for her. I guess I am in a limbo between wanting to be young and childish and at the same time feel like I am waiting for something to happen in my life yo get it going, like an engagement or starting a baby. It’s very confusing but I’m so glad i’m not the only one to feel this way!!

  • ALL THE EMOTIONS!!!!! Does anyone else want to have one last drinking Lambrini in the park/using fake ID/fitting 8 people in a car/3am McDonalds/getting with that boy in the year above in tesco car park-night? PLEASEEEE.
    Sophie xxx
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

    • hannahgale9

      This made me giggle so much. Just one more night of it, one more, and then I’ll be a grown up. Promise. xxx

  • Vicky

    I agree with all of these comments. Some of my friends started getting engaged and having babies a few years ago, and my closer friends and I all call them our ‘grown up friends’. But now, it’s getting closer! I went to a close friend’s wedding the other day and the number of people who kept coming up to us saying ‘so, who’s next?’ and we all just stared at them, glass in hand. Although my grown up friends (who are mostly the same age as me) seem to be settling into married life/parenthood, I know I’ve still got other friends who I can stay up and share a couple of bottles of wine with on a Tuesday night before heading off to work the next day.

    Truth is, it’s all just a bit terrifying this growing up lark but you’re right. It’s bloody exciting too!

    Perfectly timed post! Thanks Hannah 🙂

  • Frances

    Yes yes Yes. Thankyou Hannah, I love reading your blog, great job *pats on back*

  • Ruth

    Awww Hannah, this post was exactly what I needed today! Your blogs are always so honest and real – and this one was perfect timing for me today, so big thank you 🙂

  • Although I find myself doing adult things, like going to bed at a normal time, working 9-5 and having dinner dates with friends rather than big girls nights, marriage and babies is still waaaaay out of my comfort zone. Luckily none of my friends have quite got there yet!

  • I love this. I’m at the weird in-betweeny bit at the moment I think. One foot in each camp so to speak!

    On the one hand: yay Netflix and staying in and being happy and wanting to buy a house and own a car and have a stable job. On the other hand: OH GOD SCARY and not being able to imagine my friends getting married and having babies.

    Life’s a weird old thing isn’t it?

  • I love your posts, your blog has got to be my favourite at the minute!

    I can’t wait to be a proper grown up but it does sound scary like you said! I’ve only just finished university so my journey begins now, scary!

    http://laurenslittleblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I’m 25 and will celebrate my 6th wedding anniversary at the end of this month! Adulthood is awesome, even if it is also really really hard.

  • love that ‘when in doubt’ sweater 🙂 and i love a midi skirt but i too have short legs and they don’t suit me (sob) anyway! http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-dream-that-is-venice.html

  • Ruth

    Hannah, I love your blog and this post puts into words exactly how I feel most of the time. I’m 23 and two of my friends are already married and another bought a house before they even graduated from university.
    It definitely is scary that life is changing and we have to be proper grown-ups now (well…at least most of the time). I love the bit you wrote about actually being allowed to get married, have babies etc. Most of the time I sort of feel like an impostor.

  • Kate

    I have a strange love / hate relationship on these kind of posts – I think because it scares me but also because of the rush that society pushes on to us and I think we should just enjoy been young without that constant ‘ you should be doing this’ in the back of our minds.

    I’m 24, I’m married already in my mind and most people i know, i got married really young..but thats ok because I am happy and I have been with my husband for 5 years. But, if I wasn’t married or engaged thats ok too because I’m only 24..not 34.even at 34 if i was single, why would that matter?

    I still think having kids at my age is really really young because we have barely lived ourselves so for me, I’m not ready I know some people are though.

    I see a lot of comments on here which I can relate to, early twenties/ mid twenties, uni graduates and can’t find a ‘proper’ job yet..I am one of those I’m afraid, so still looking..
    for me after that stress of uni I see this time as getting a job I enjoy, been happy and going out and enjoying myself whilst i’m still young. I do hate the words ‘ proper job’ because does it matter if someone in their twenties and works in retail, its a job, its money and with this climate most of us can’t be picky tbh.

    I think whats changed for me since been a teenager is now that I have matured and thats the biggest thing apart from moving out, getting a good job… I know so many people still living at home in their early twenties as no one can afford it and I hate the way theres this pressure for them to move out when they clearly can’t afford to.

    i think the way I am living my life at the moment is just to do what makes me happy, If i want to watch netflix with a takeaway at 3am, thats fine, If I want to go out and get a really important job thats fine too, we all take our own steps and do things at different times. people need to stop stressing about their age because they will look back on this time when they are 50 and wish they just enjoyed themselves and let their hair down.

  • I think this is just a rumor, but you may as well try since you are definitely far enuogh along that you don’t have anything to worry about. I wouldn’t eat more than a serving or so every few hours. Personally, I think walking is more likely to help than anything else


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