Getting older is a funny old thing. I’m firmly in the late twenties club now (hurtling rapidly towards my 28th birthday in fact!) and on the whole, I love it. I’m more body confident, I’ve got a decent chunk of career experience under my belt and my life generally looks how I dreamed it would when I was 16. But there’s a lot of weird stuff that comes with edging towards the end of this significant decade too – like finding your first grey hair or realising that your body just really can’t handle drinking more than 3 glasses of wine anymore.
However, I think the weirdest thing about being in your late twenties is learning to accept that you’re actually a responsible adult now. It’s something I’ve been grappling with a lot recently and it’s been at the forefront of my mind ever since our holiday with our friends the other week.
In my head I still feel like I’m 18 years old and this feeling is only intensified when I spend time with the friends I met at that age. So you can imagine my mild horror last when I found myself sat around a pool, with the girls I used to drink vats of cheap rose wine with, discussing things like mortgages and pensions and when the right time to have a baby is.
It’s so bizarre – we’ve spent the last decade chatting about Topshop dresses and crap dates and shitty landlords, and now here we are, suddenly old enough that stuff like stamp duty and fertility actually features in our current lingo. Old enough that nearly half of us are married. Old enough that house saving is being prioritised over holidays. Old enough that when considering new jobs, we’re starting to actually check what the maternity benefits are, rather than simply being swayed by the salary and career opportunities.
And the really strange thing is that none of this is remotely weird at all. We’re a group of women in our late twenties – it makes absolute sense that things like houses and careers and marriage and babies are starting to occupy our thinking space. But it still kinda feels like we’ve reached this stage too quickly. Like those carefree early twenties days went by so fast and we were too busy complaining about how broke we were to really enjoy them.
It made me wonder if I’ll ever truly feel like a real grown up, or if I’ll always feel like some sort of fraud, waiting for someone who is in charge to turn up and tell me that I need to give my mortgage and husband back because I’m just too young for them. Whether I’ll ever feel mature enough to care for a child or to have a savings account with more than a small emergency fund in it. I wonder if it will ever not feel weird that people are willing to employ me for important jobs, or that my family think I’m grown up enough to mind their kids.
My Nan tells me that she still feels 18 in her head too (and she’s 78!) so I’m not sure it ever changes. Instead, I think you just grow more confident at winging it, more comfortable with getting outside of your comfort zone, more convincing at faking it till you make it. Either way, I still find it weird that I’m apparently a fully fledged grown up now – does anybody else feel the same?