Lifestyle

The fear of growing up

I’m in my room it’s a typical Tuesday night… but I’m not about to break into a vintage Tay Sway song, instead I’m gonna sit and panic about my life because it’s 11pm and I’m alive babyyyy.

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Seriously though, when I was about 14 and at my most furious with the world, I would come home from school, lock myself away in my room and just listen to the same Taylor Swift songs over and over until I felt better. So whenever I hear Tay, I just think of my angsty teenage-self sitting on my bed drinking diet coke, and wondering when my life would get better (and also believing diet coke was the only thing that wouldn’t make me fat).

When most people meet me for the first time, they’re always surprised by my age for one of two reasons. Some people assume I’m still under 18 and in school because I look ridiculously young without makeup and when I’m not wearing heeled boots. Other people think I’m much older than I am because of how maturely I can come across (can being the selective word, because I can also be a petty immature brat a lot of the time).

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I like people mistaking me as both younger and older than my years, because it makes me realise that yes I am still young enough to be mistaken for a teenager, but I’m also capable of adulting when I need to, and it’s important to embrace both aspects of myself.

2017 has been a bit of a weird year in terms of growing up and realising things about myself. I had a very real, full time job, and for a while I was very much pretending to be an adult 5 days a week. But it turns out I couldn’t handle that job, and for a long time I felt crappy about that and presumed it was because I wasn’t resilient enough for the real world. Looking back, I realise it was just a crap job with a lot of egotistical people, because as soon as I got a new job I realised that not all adult jobs make you stressed to the point of exhuation every day. I realised that actually I am a talented creative person, and I am strong enough for the real world, it was just the environment that was toxic.

When I look back on social media at my younger self, I always used to consider 19/20 as my prime. It was when I was most comfortable with my appearance, and when I felt the most confident. But I don’t think I was necessarily happiest in those times, I just convinced myself I was because I felt carefree and irresponsible, so without any ties and very little meaning I believed I was living my best life. It turns out though that right now, at 22 and the chubbiest I’ve been in a while is my true happy place. Not just because I’ve been in a successful relationship that has given me so much confidence and self worth, but also because I feel like I finally have a grasp on my future and my career, and the kind of life I want to lead.

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Growing up scares me. The notion that moving out of my parents house (for reals this time, not just a few weeks of the year like at uni) and away from my childhood town is now becoming a reality terrifies me a bit, but in a good way. I’m ready to live with my favourite human and fully embrace the crazy neurotic neat freek that he has come to know in the last 2 years, and I’m ready to raise cats of our own called Giles and Spike.

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Being responsible for myself is not something I’ve had a lot of practice with, because I definitely consider university more like being a young adult on The Sims. Sure I was splitting a few bills and cooking for myself, but I could still drive back to my parents within an hour when I ran out of bread or if I was having a down day. It will be a big adjustment to know that I am an adult now, if I use the last of the bread I have to buy a new loaf, and if I’m having a down day I should probably focus on self care rather than retreating to my parents house.

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