Friday 8 July 2016 / London, UK

Turning 23

There's just something about Birthdays that makes you suddenly reflect on your life and freak the hell out about where your life's heading, or more worryingly, where it's definitely not heading. It felt like I was only able to sing "I dunno about you, but I'm feeling 22" for a few months before it was soon robbed from me and I suddenly woke up 23 and freaking the hell out. You're suddenly not somebody's "little sister" or your Mum's "baby" of the siblings anymore. You're at that awkward in-between stage of your life where you're too young to be married or thinking about children, but too old for it to be socially acceptable for you to spend your weekends sticking to dance floors and downing j├Ągerbombs in some scummy student bar with your tongue down some lads throat from Scunthorpe.

Everybody (especially your Nan) loves to remind you that "you're getting old now" and yet you still feel like your 19 year old self, but just a better-dressed version and with a few more pennies in the bank. 23 sounds old doesn't it? 2 years away from 25 and terrifyingly just 7 years away from the big 3-0. I remember at aged 13 saying to my friends that by the time I'm 24 I will be married, will own my first house and will have my first child. HA. Well, I'm now one year away from that age...I'm living at home in my childhood bedroom, I've got no savings in the bank because I've spent them all on flights, I've got no car on the drive, but a driving licence in my purse, I'm still nowhere nearer knowing what I want to do as a career,  my mum still does my laundry, I'm still single and there's strong possibility that I've swiped left to the potential love of my life. Fantastic.

There is absolutely no way of escaping it now, I am now a full-blown bloody adult whether I like it or not...

Although extremely content with my life and the people in it, I frustratingly still can't seem to shake off this feeling of dissatisfaction and feeling of failure and it stresses the hell out of me. Although there are no guidelines for what your life should be like aged 23, 23 to me sounds terrifyingly grown up. At that age I would expect somebody to be comfortable in where their career is heading, to be comfortable in a relatively serious relationship and certainly not to hysterically laugh/be on the verge of tears when people ask you when you're planning to get your own place. Honey please, I live in London.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's so easy to compare yourself to other people all the time and as much as I absolutely love social media, I'm the first to admit that it absolutely does not help this feeling of dissatisfaction one little bit. Thanks to Facebook, I am constantly reminded that there are people who were on my University course who now own a house. Some are engaged, some are married and even scarier, some now have a baby. My Instagram feed is full of 23 year old's who are  a walking, talking emblem of 'Life Goals'. Still a gazillion miles away from achieving any 'life goals',  I seriously need to remember to remind myself that I wake up every morning in the best city in the world, with a roof over my head and with my health. And that alone makes me one of the very lucky ones in this World. 
So in a bid to make myself calm the absolute f down about how I woke up boyfriendless (and cuddling my teddy - may I add for extra tragedy), tucked up in my single bed still living at home on the morning of my Birthday, I think it's important that I congratulate my 23 year old ass for accomplishing so much already in my life and share...

23 things in my life that I have learnt in my twenty-three years on this planet...

  1. As cliche as it is, everything really does happen for a reason, even if that reason frustratingly isn't always initially clear. 
  2. Ibiza is always a good idea.
  3. Tequila on the other hand, is NEVER a good idea. I repeat, never.
  4. Despite how hard I try not to be, I will always be clumsy and will always be the one who spills my drink at a dinner table. (And all over my office desk, which seems to be my new habit)
  5. Despite what the smug ones may say, you will not meet the love of your life on Tinder, Bumble or Happn. And if you have, then he's probably not the love of your life. 
  6. You can never own too many pairs of shoes. And if anybody tells you otherwise, then you don't need that kind of negativity in your life. Get rid of them. 
  7. As much as I hate to admit it, my Mum is always right. And I mean always. 
  8. They sure weren't lying when they said hangovers get worse with age. 
  9. Life really is too short to spend it unhappy, so never prioritise somebody else's happiness over your own. 
  10. It's okay to prefer to drink your calories rather than eating them, now that that metabolism is slowing down. 
  11. It's better to be rich in experience, than rich in materialistic measures... 
  12. That means I am now totally okay with spending the majority of my wages every month on flights and weekends away. 
  13. No matter how many full wardrobes I have, I will never be satisfied and will still struggle to find something to wear everyday. And I've accepted that. 
  14. Wear whatever the hell you like, because as my Queen Vivienne Westwood said, "You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes". I would much rather stand out and be remembered for what I'm wearing, than be forgettable. 
  15. Always push yourself outside of that comfort zone, as tempting as it is to stay there. Because as they say, "the comfort zone is a very nice place, but not a lot goes on there". 
  16. Work hard, but play harder. Because otherwise what are all those sweaty 7am commutes for, if you don't take the time out to have fun too. 
  17. No matter how many times I straighten my hair and everybody tells me it looks amazing, I will still always revert back to my curly hair.
  18. You can't take your money with you to your grave, so always buy the shoes!
  19. There really is nothing more valuable in life than to travel. 
  20. Don't be a 'Negative Nancy.'..always try to live life with the glass half full. 
  21. You can always change direction and start over. It is never too late, even if you may think it is. 
  22. As hard as I try to fancy English guys, I will always have a thing for European guys, especially you Spaniards and Italians. 
  23. And lastly, I will never ever ever enjoy the taste of coffee. 

So here's to another year older and another year non-the-wiser...


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