Friday 20 November 2015

The contradictions of being 29

I've been 29 for a couple of months. Since my birthday, in fact.

It's coincided with moving to London/just-outside-London/Hatfield (depending on how familiar I think you are with small Hertfordshire towns, or how lenient I think you'll be on defining what just-outside-London means). So perhaps some of the below list is also influenced by being in a new setting. Either way, I feel like 29 is kind of a weird age, with quite a lot of contradictions going on. To be fair a lot of them are based on me supposedly not looking like a 29-year-old supposedly looks. Whatever that means. Which is kind of my point:


Here's my experience of it so far, perhaps you can relate...

  • Getting IDed at a supermarket on your lunchbreak from your 'grown-up' kind of job
  • Having no idea what a 29-year-old should wear at a 'grown-up' kind of job (still rocking the flares you bought when you were 17, and not sure if that's good or bad)
  • Feeling like you've learned quite a lot in the last few years
  • Feeling like you know nothing
  • Earning more than you’ve earned in your life up until now
  • Having less disposable income than most other points in your life, (and don’t know why)
  • Having friends of 29 who are single, married, breaking-up, divorced, engaged, parents, Godparents, aunts and uncles
  • and... doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers
  • and... actors, waitresses, carers, mechanics, students,
  • and... set-up-their-own-business-ers and still not really sure-ers
  • and... homeowners, renters, lodgers, sofa-surfers
  • and... many who are still discovering, experimenting and questionning spirituality, sexuality and the meaning of life
  • Experiencing a lull in weddings (between the keen Christian early-wedders, and everyone else)
  • Realising you started university a decade ago - which means some of your ‘newer’ friends have now been your friends for a third of your life
  • Losing friends to parenthood, Australia, and some more permanently :-( 
  • Being asked if you have kids
  • Being asked if you’re going to have kids soon
  • Asking yourself if you want kids
  • Being asked if you’re at college
  • Being asked if you're at university
  • Still mourning the lack of a young persons’ railcard
  • Seeing the look of surprise (and concern) when you say you're married, and have been for four years, because clearly you were a child bride
  • Realising your mum was your age when she gave birth to you and your twin sister
  • Not being able to in any way comprehend that
  • Having small morning panics that you’ve gone grey overnight, or that your hair is growing back grey rather than light brown - and realising it’s quite possible
  • Fighting a losing battle against the stubborn black hairs colonising your chin
  • Experiencing a confusing return of acne
  • Noticing wrinkles on other people your age and thinking you really need to stop frowning and doing that weird thing with your mouth when you feel awkward
  • Appreciating your family more than ever before
  • Appreciating bed more than ever before
  • Caring less about what people think of you (but still caring a bit, and hoping you get over that soon)
  • Having several places and people you call 'home' and treasuring them deeply
  • Looking younger than most other people in their twenties
  • Feeling way older (and a little bit superior) than anyone else in their twenties (and thinking an 18-30's holiday is pretty unappealing / the last thing you'd ever want to do)
  • Not feeling quite ready for your thirties
  • Worrying you’ve not had enough fun in your twenties
  • Worrying you've not worked hard enough in your twenties
  • Knowing worrying doesn't help anything
  • Starting to believe it's not too late for anything
  • Still hoping that one day soon you'll be dancing much more frequently than you do...
What about you??

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