Yesterday I turned 23 years young and other than playing Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” on repeat, I have had a big long reflect on turning 23 and everything that comes along with it.
Typically, most people my age graduated from university a couple of years ago and are in big boy jobs seemingly smashing life, settling down with a partner, getting engaged and having kids. Honestly, I have no problem with what other people do with their lives, but in the same respect, I don’t see it as a guideline for life.
As a kid when adults asked what I wanted to “be” when I was older instead of the generic ‘doctor’, ‘lawyer’, ‘firefighter’ responses, I nonchalantly answered “work in Poundland”…and no, my parents have never let me forget it.
Whilst I am yet to achieve my childhood dream of working in Poundland, I think 5 year old me was on to something with that sweeping statement of all my lifelong dreams being attached to being a shop worker.
Growing up, I had little to no expectations of myself. Not in like a totally self deprecating way but more so in the sense of “what will be will be”.
I was never really academic, I struggled but in the best part I just knew that I didn’t want to be involved in academia. I wasn’t dim or bad at school, I did okay in my GCSE’s, even if I did struggle to choose four topics, when all I wanted to do was music technology and music I ended up taking child development which wasn’t all that bad because I learned a lot about being an adult but I did have to take one of those screaming baby dolls home for 24 hours that has scarred me for life.
I left school at 16 and went to college to fulfil my passion of music technology which was by far the best two years of my life. All of my school friends were stuck in their uniforms still at the school’s sixth form attending 5 days a week where as I was in college 2 or 3 days a week in the middle of Birmingham wearing what I wanted, day drinking, meeting new people, going out and socialising whilst holding down my first ever job at a kid’s play area – that child development GCSE coming in handy!
After college I took a couple of years to work at pubs, my uncles sporting company and for music promoters in Birmingham. I had fun and worked hard but all my friends were at uni and I can’t lie, all of their social media posting gave me a serious case of FOMO.
But two years later I landed on my feet in Manchester, studying Events Management at a uni that specialises in music, and holy heck do I love it here.
Moving to Manchester always will be the best decision I made, it allowed me to be the independent little soul that I always was fighting to be, I met some incredible people and I fell in love with the city immediately.
Taking time to do my degree and getting here a couple of years later than everyone else really doesn’t bother me any more. Getting to 23 you realise that everyone truly is at different times in their lives. I have friends with children, friends in full time employment in some really impressive jobs, some friends making it in the music industry giving me a glimmer of hope that in time, I will be there too!
Getting older doesn’t have to be, and really shouldn’t be, a set back at all. Growing older has just taught me that people work at different paces and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to reach your goal, one day you will get there and the journey will be the most important and fun part!
So here is to living more in the moment, being mindful and present in the moment, taking time to be alone, because I’ve definitely learnt that me time is just as important as socialising, picking up old hobbies and discovering new ones!
Your 20’s truly are your golden years, everyone around you is at different stages and not one of them is winning this made up race at all. Take time, take chances and take risks because now is the time to be doing it.
My goals for myself in this next year are:
- to be unapologetically selfish
- look out for others
- bring kindness wherever I go
- have fun
- network my way into a badass graduate job
- make the most of my final year at uni, it’s the last chance I get to risk-free experiment, explore and find myself for the foreseeable future!
Let’s work on embracing ageing and all that comes with it, rather than cower away from it!
P.S: people do still like you when you’re 23, Blink-182 lied, I have the most wonderful bunch of friends who made my birthday very special:
All my love,
a slightly older,