Now I’m in my late twenties, after two serious, long-term relationships taking up the last 11 years of my life I find myself single. At first I was completely happy with this scenario, after being in non stop relationships since the age of 17 it was about time I learnt to be on my own rather than come as part of a ‘package.’ Since becoming single I have learnt so much about myself, I’m currently enjoying ‘playing catch up’, being selfish and doing things for me!
At the ripe old age of 28, I find that weekends are being booked up by hen parties, weddings, baby showers or simply being the only single hunny at the party! This is the time of our lives when things all start kicking off. But for me this just isn’t where I am at all. I thought I had a hold on this but all of these experiences can play with your brain a little, comparisons are subconsciously made and its practically impossible not to think…
‘Should this be me?’
I can’t help but wonder ‘am I lagging behind here?’
We often spend so much time wishing and not living in the moment. When you’re 15 you want to be 18, when you’re 18 you want to be 21, when you’re 25 you want to be 21, when you’re 28 you want to be 25. See where I’m going with one?
In my late twenties I worry about my mortgage, my ovaries and my pension fund. I spend my money on anti-wrinkle cream, boiler insurance and extending my ever-growing lipstick collection. Long term gains right? However I am reluctantly comparing my 28 years with everyone elses, am I on the right track? Next thing I know I’m buying baby gifts for first birthdays and you get a reality check that you’re at the exact age that seemed so far away not that long ago.
I’m hanging on to my twenty-something status, I’m definitely growing up, but not quite a grown up. I’m 100% an adult but actually I’m still a big kid. I still run most decisions past my Mum.
Twenty eight is a significant age, you’re expected to be making progress in the life ambition of getting ‘shit done’ – there’s so much pressure to fit the mould. It’s so easy to become controlled by our age, and what this signifies, I get wrinkles just thinking about how certain life benchmarks don’t line up with my current status. I say, SCREW THIS – Live your life the way you want to rather than the way you are expected to. Especially if it means like me taking a jump (which at times feels like a free fall minus the parachute) Hate your job? quit!, go back to uni to do that degree you should have done in the first place, chop off your hair, change your mind and then change it back again. End the relationship that doesn’t deserve your time and tears. The fear of the unknown is a debilitating thing, but change isn’t always bad. Our 20’s are a time to explore, be selfish, be you! Buy the plane ticket, buy the shoes, have interesting conversations with strangers, waste afternoons in coffee shops, kiss and tell, do cartwheels in bars when you probably should be in bed, etc etc…
So I’ve decided to resist the pressure and to try to change my mindset about all this romantic malarkey! We are genetically wired up to believe that our life is based on a generic list of ‘should be’s’ and we are only successful if we tick off all these make-believe boxes. Now, those who know me know I am a huge fan of a list, any form of paper checklist that helps to organise my thoughts is quite simply wonderful. But enough is enough. As I’ve said before, “who makes up the rules anyway?” In this make believe/list of nonsense securing the top spot in most girls lists is the big mothership ‘Settling down’. Of course, I would eventually love to be in a happy, loving relationship and have little babbas everywhere, but that time is yet to come, and that time in my life isn’t when I’ll eventually feel satisfied. Right now, it’s me time! Gathering a whole range of life experiences, good stories, even better memories and learning valuable life lessons. The nights out, the holidays, the day trips, the new adventures, meeting new people, the most wonderful of flings and bloody awful break ups. This ‘moment’ that I’m currently experiencing has taught me OH so much. Its taught me I’m brave, I’m so much stronger than I expected I would be. I’m spontaneous, I’m ambitious and I’m learning that yes, I’m soft and I get far too emotionally involved, but that’s just because I’ve got a lot of love to give not for any negative reasons. In doing this I’ve also learnt the value of self-worth and however ‘incredible’ someone might appear to be and how completely devastated you are that things just aren’t how they used to/should be, that this is only one persons opinion and to another you are everything they have ever hoped of. Some people are lucky and others have to do a bit of how shall we say, market research. Massive shout out here to everyone who has had to get over someone they never technically dated. It happens to the best of us, honey, chin up!
Market research enables you to discover exactly what you want, although you do run the risk of becoming ‘picky’. One good experience can leave you longing for something and living with blinkered vision, and as a result of that you miss out on a whole other world of opportunities and experiences to fall head over heels in love with. E.g now I have some kind of obsession with curls, you must be cheeky and have nice hands. WHAT? Anyway, whilst I’m making this point I should also highlight that if a guy asks you to hangout past midnight it’s probably not because he really likes your personality. Just a little heads up there, remember those life lessons I was talking about, well that’s one of them! You’re welcome!
I have friends and also me included who occasionally panic about what social media/social norms expect them to be doing rather than focusing on what they actually want to be doing. If you DO want to be married and settle down, kids, dogs, mortgage etc etc then go get um tiger, but if you’re not there yet but its on your agenda then that’s ok, enjoy the moment, happy, fun-loving people are the most attractive. Laws of attraction state that you aint going to bag a hunny if you’re moping, jumping down their neck one date deep telling them you want their babies. Chill out, it’s only chaos. Your time will come.
On the flip side to this if you are in a relationship one shouldn’t assume that us single bunnies, are just waiting, clock/whatsapp watching, for Mr Right to double look, double tap, or have a text response rate sub 10 seconds to come along. We might actually be perfectly happy as we are. Either way, both mindsets are unhealthy and pile on the pressure to finally tick that empty box to ‘settle down’
It’s also useful to note that whatever your relationship status, life is never, ever sorted. Theres always something to better, uncertainties and the feelings of ‘what if’s’ always crop up. Life is made up of all sorts of trials and tribulations to test us or bring us joy. Ride the wave, sweet cheeks. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the idea of being alone and older feels slightly daunting but why is this? I blame Disney, and their socially conditioned ideas that finding Prince Charming is the key to a happy ending. Pffff.
When you find yourself checking whatsapp to see if you’ve still been left on two blue ticks, or you’re three years deep in his ex flings, ex boyfriends instagram page hang on in there! Just because someone else seems to have their boxes ticked doesn’t mean you should settle. Don’t settle for the second pressing! Bags of time yet, enjoy the moment! How lucky are you to have the opportunity to do whatever you wish. Follow your instincts, be curious, keep an open heart and a strong spirit. This is where the fun stuff happens!
Love from Fee xx