I’m writing this post knowing full well that the comment section will be full of you’re so young and think of me, I’m THIRTY FIVE and you have your best years ahead of you! and all that loveliness, but let me just have my moment to freak out and say HOW THE SWEET FRICKIN HELL DID I GET TO MY LATE TWENTIES ALREADY?
Like, um, how?I am on the homeward stretch to 27.
It has been 14 years since I started my period, 13 years since I had my first sauce lil snog under a duvet, and eight years since I started university. Um, what?
I can no longer say that I am 26 and a half, or even 26 and three quarters, and I’m trying not to break down over the fact that lord have mercy, I have six weeks left on my Young Person’s railcard (because y’know, I renewed it the day before I turned 26, obvs) and I will actually have to take out a business loan to be able to get to meetings.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am super duper 102% mega excited for all the great things that come with being older.
I’ve been wrapping financial security around me like a big warm duvet that I never want to let go of, and corrr, feeling settled has worked wonders on the ol’ mental health. I’ve made a good dent in a career path which certainly makes me feel like I’ve at least done something with my 26 and eleven twelfths, even if I’m yet to produce a life or save a life or get a mortgage or do anything else ‘grown up’.
Although, WAIT, I can drive, so there’s that too. Hip hip hooray for Hannah.
I got a letter two days ago from the DVLA, asking me to renew my driving licence with a new photo. I was confused. Why so random? Why now?
And then it hit me, like a ton of teenagers pelting bricks at my face, it has been a DECADE, an actual mother-flippin’ decade since I applied for my provisional licence.
BRB whilst I go and lock myself in the toilet and sob into my anti wrinkle cream and menopause meds.
I jest, I jest.
But deep down, there is something that freaks me out about turning 27 in a way in which I know it shouldn’t. Yes it’s exciting and yes getting older comes with so many perks and yes people get happier and more content with age, and yes so many people don’t get the opportunity to even reach this age, but also, how am I here so quickly?
How has it arrived before I’m ready to beckon it with wide, open arms and a tray of margaritas?
I want to bottle this age, this period of my life right now, because I am scared I will blink and hey look I’m looking round schools for my hypothetical children and then I’ll blink again and hey look I’ll be really into bird-watching and then I’ll blink once more and I’ll be playing chess in a retirement home.
My point is that life seems so long when you’re a kid, like it will just go on forever. And the older you get, the more you realise how quickly it flies past without it feeling like any time has passed at all. You never feel ready to hit an age, or a milestone, it always feels like you’re racing to keep up with the age your birth certificate declares you are.
Like sure hun, sure I’m about to enter my late twenties, sure there’s no way you’re lying to me and this is all some fun game being filmed for a reality TV show.
Growing up, I wasn’t much of a rule breaker, but I always pushed my boundaries and made decisions that I knew other people wouldn’t approve of. I don’t know if I liked to shock, or if I craved drama, but life was never smooth-sailing. I did things before people thought I was ready, before I probably was ready.
I liked to be the first to do things, and to do things bigger and brighter than other people.
But life isn’t like that anymore. I don’t remember the last time anyone questioned any of my life decisions. People trust me to know what I’m doing, to assume I have my shit together, to assume everything has a plan. Or maybe people feel less inclined to tell me they think I’m doing things wrong, now that I’m y’know, entering responsible adult territory and that it’s less their place to force guidance in my face.
Because it feels like you can get away with being a bit higgildy piggildy and flailing in your early twenties and even your mid twenties, but then your late twenties seem to scream I AM A REAL-LIFE, SENSIBLE ADULT WHO DOES THINGS THE RIGHT WAY.
Y’know? I always thought that people in their late-twenties had their heads firmly screwed on. They knew everything.
It’s not that I miss old me, because old me (or, y’know younger me) was so chaotic and unhappy, I just feel like I’ve grown up a lot and left her behind, and maybe I’m mourning her.
Like stepping away from an old relationship. I knew she was never destined to be with me forever and I knew we’d never be happy together, but she was the person who stood by my side every day, the person I knew best, the person I did everything with, and now I can no longer really remember what she looked like or how she smelt, or how her brain worked.
She is a part of me that I’ve held onto for so long. She’s the reason I am the person I am today. She makes me, me. She went through the suffering and the shit times for adult me, so that adult me could have the life she has, the life which makes her happy.
Does that make sense?
I look back and question why I acted in certain situations the way I did, and how I would approach them differently now, but if that version of Hannah hadn’t been around to maybe be a little reckless and spontaneous and impatient, this Hannah wouldn’t have this life that she’s so proud of.
So yes, 27, come at me. I am ready to tackle you with a big juicy glass of something fruity and alcoholic and frozen, but I’m also a little teeny tiny bit scared to step another step further away from the person I used to be, no matter how unhappy and chaotic she was. Because she, well she was me.
Photo by Bang On Style.