When I was younger, I thought that when I was in my twenties I’d be absolutely bloomin’ sorted. I’d be in a good job earning lots of money, socialising a lot and be living in a lovely house with my lovely husband, cooking pancakes for breakfast every morning.
Well firstly it’s usually a cereal bar on my way to work, and secondly if I want to be ‘living in a lovely house’ I’ll need a hell of a lot more money than I’ve got.
As a teenager I used to look up to adults with this desire to be where they were in life. Where it looked like they were in life. Those Instagram-perfect families with fancy coffee machines in beautiful kitchens straight out of a catalogue. They’d kiss their partners goodbye as they left for work; an important, well-paid job in a well-known company, probably in the city.
I roll out of bed about half an hour before I need to leave, get ready in a rush and eat breakfast in the car. I get to kiss my boyfriend goodbye some mornings: we don’t live together yet. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. What I really want to do. I know I don’t want to work in the city, even if it stunts my financial opportunity. I come home and I try to write a book I’m struggling to finish and become frustrated with myself for having not written a blog post for a month. I try to take some photos for my blog or for social media, but it’s too dark.
I’d look at adults and think they were old. I’d look at them and wish for the life experiences they’ve had, the houses they’ve got, the money they’ve got.
I’m 22. That’s not old. I live at home still, despite being in a long-term relationship. I eat breakfast sometimes, drink alcohol never. I hardly ever socialise because people don’t want to be friends with an anxious, non-drinker. I’m on a minute salary. I’ve learnt that being an adult isn’t fancy coffee machines and big, white houses bought without stress or strain. Being an adult is bills, workplace politics, loss, grief, people moaning about the way you look, maintaining relationships and trying to remember to eat three meals a day – even if they are in the car.
Maybe one day I will really feel like I have my shit together. But it ain’t today. For now, I will just be twenty-two, figure things out, figure myself out, work out what I want from life. And that’s OK.