Am I Getting Old?

My back hurts. I know how to fold a fitted sheet and cook a roast dinner. The first signs of wrinkles are appearing furtively on my forehead.

The ripe age of 25 is around the corner (tomorrow, to be exact), and for the first time in my life, I feel…. not young. I think it’s something about not being in the 18-24 age bracket anymore. I’m no longer fresh out of school, I’ve been “a real adult” (i.e. buying my own toilet paper and knowing what a “utility bill” is) for a few years already. When I Google “turning 25 pages and pages come up of variations of 25 Things I Realised When I Turned 25, making me feel like I should be more wise and self-actualised than I actually am. In other words, the culmination of my early-20’s has caught me by surprise and I suddenly feel like I should have my shit together.

Am I doing this okay? This whole life thing? Should I be settled down in a terraced house in a distant borough of London, with a baby and two cats and a dishwasher, buying sensible underwear from Marks & Spencer and making regular appointments at the hairdresser? I see people my age with houses and promotions, polished and sophisticated sporting the perfect business-casual capsule wardrobe.

I guess I probably should. But instead, here I am cleaning up horse shit, my eyebrows wild beyond the point of taming, spending my afternoons whispering sweet nothings to my broccoli seedlings.

In fact, when I look back on my last few birthdays, I’ve always been doing something different. At 21, I was driving in a van around New Zealand with my best friend. We didn’t have phone service and I didn’t even realise it was my birthday until lunchtime. At 22, I was hiking in the Welsh countryside, recently graduated and making plans to move to Canada. At 23, I was a lift operator at a ski resort and spent my day snowboarding. Last year I was at the beach. And this year, I’m going to be riding horses at a secluded ranch on the shores of the Shuswap, reading books on bald eagles and tending to my garden.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, although I have some anxiety about getting older, who knows what’ll happen next year? I can bet my life at my 26th birthday will be different again, soooooo there’s no point in worrying about it now (and there’s definitely no point in comparing myself to other people). As long as I continue to ~follow my heart~ then all will be well. Or maybe I’m totally wrong and I’ll be soon banging on your door begging to sleep on your couch because my dream to be a writer completely bailed and I’m left with nothing except a reputation for poor personal hygiene and a mild distaste for wearing pencil skirts.

And, obviously, 25 is not that old. I am positively youthful in some ways. I succeeding in beating my debilitating cribbage addiction. I ate a nutella sandwich for breakfast very smugly this morning, although it was later followed by a heaping of dietary regret (note to self: you can’t eat sugar like you’re 16 anymore).

Anyway, short post because my poor elderly eyes hurt from looking at the screen. Remember pens, eh? And pencils? Kids these days. Don’t even know what they’re missing. Before I go, though, here is my customary list of 25 Things I Realised When I Turned 25.

  1. Horse poo doesn’t smell that bad once you get used to it
  2. Sensible underwear is underrated
  3. 9pm is a very acceptable time to go to bed
  4. It’s not rude to say “that’s none of your business”. Well, I guess it kind of is. But sometimes it’s necessary.
  5. Flossing is important
  6. So is sunscreen
  7. It’s okay if not everybody likes you
  8. Treating yourself to new socks is a fantastic use of expendable income
  9. Posture is also important
  10. Wetsuits are horrible to put on and I promise to never to that to my body again
  11. You should always deliver on your promises
  12. But also listing 25 things you know is harder than it looks and my supper is ready sooooo I’m dipping out — whatever it’s my birthday I can do what I want

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4 thoughts on “Am I Getting Old?”

  1. That made me smile to read Hannah, I can relate to so much of what you write even though we are walking down quite different paths. From my view point you are living the “life” part more than most and it stirs envy in me. On the surface (I feel like) it looks like I have my shit together, half the time I back myself with the decisions I’ve made so far and other times… well… the grass looks greener over there.
    I was thinking about this whole getting old thing, it’s not secret that in business many of the most successful people didn’t even start thing about it until theirs 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s etc. and that’s a long way off. There’s more time before those doors are closed than we have yet lived. I want to tell myself that if you’re enjoying each day… isn’t that enough? Goals, ambition, logical thinking, illogical thinking, mental health, physical health.. it feels like they’re all playing a role in where we are going but all pulling in different directions and some days (or months..) I feel overwhelmed and (if I don’t hermit crab and hide) just go where the current takes me (the educational side of too many tubing down rivers drunk showing up there :P). Other days inspiration/motivation get a grip and i’m on one, chasing my dreams. I feel like that has been me for the past 18 months and now my brain is rebelling.

    I feel like this has slightly taken a turn from what I was initially saying:
    You do you. If you’re happy each day, then in my opinion – You’re winning x

    ps. Happy birthday, and damn right get in bed early if that’s what you want to do 😛 (I definitely do)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Thanks so much for your words Christian. The grass can definitely look greener on the other side, something that is obviously made all the more prominent by social media. I also feel like we both came from very academic backgrounds — having been to one of the best universities in England we’ve been encompassed in an incredibly ambitious and accomplished culture that has perhaps skewed our ideas of what success means. Because really, you’re totally right — if you’re enjoying yourself every day, that’s enough.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, I had one glass of wine and was asleep by 9:30. Fresher-Hannah would be disappointed HAHA


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