September 26, 2014
When I was 18 years old – ten years ago – I’m not sure what I expected life in my twenties to be like… but this wasn’t it.
Here are 22 things that, like me, you probably really didn’t see coming…
You have friends who are divorced
Oh my God, is there anything more grown-up than having divorced friends? Having married friends seemed odd in my early twenties and when they started having babies that really freaked me out, but now that some of them are getting divorced… yikes. They’re just flying through the motions and my biggest commitment is to my mobile network provider.
Your Facebook feed is nothing but babies
Ten years ago my Facebook feed was a mixture of my friends’ drunken nights out, bitchy sub-statuses and petty arguments – it was an absolute blast to read. Now it’s just all babies. Babies everywhere. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that, to everyone else, your baby looks exactly like every other baby, and unbelievably it’s doing the exact same thing all the other babies are doing. To you this is, rightly so, a beautiful miracle, but I still like to see drunk people wearing traffic cones on their heads every now and then.
If you’re single, people think there’s something wrong with you
People just can’t understand why you’re single. Surely being single by choice isn’t a thing? Maybe there’s something wrong with you? Older family members, your mum’s bestie with the single son and your smug couples friends are all trying to set you up with someone – anyone – in the hope you won’t die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later half-eaten by alsatians.
You still have teenage girl style crushes…
It doesn’t matter that you’re nearing thirty, you’re still developing those crazed, obsessive, teenage girl style crushes like you had when you were at school. You’re still playing the same silly relationship games and they’re still not working.
…and mortal enemies
Did you think having a nemesis would end when you finished school? Think again. Whether it’s at work, where you live, or that friend-of-a-friend who is unfortunately in your social circle, there’s still that one person who makes your life hell.
Movies from your teens are suddenly 10+ years old…
The movies from your teenage years that pretty much taught you how to be (like Mean Girls) are suddenly ten years old. Some movies from when you were younger (like Clueless) are about to celebrate their 20th birthday – as if! Thankfully, via GIFs, they’ll live on forever.
…and the music you listened to at school is on “old school” playlists
Nothing makes you feel old like your favourite song from your teens cropping up on old school/classic playlists, or hearing people younger than you refer to it as “retro”.
Younger people ask you grown-up questions
Forget what I said before, nothing makes you feel old like people who are younger than you. From other people’s kids asking you questions – mistakingly thinking you are responsible – to friends slightly younger than you asking you question about grown-up things like paying bills, which you really can’t help with because, other than remembering to click the mailbox on The Sims, that’s not really your forte.
Hangovers are a real thing
Hangovers used to be just feeling a bit tired the next day. Now, hangovers are like dying a slow, painful death. As the years go on, the after effects of drinking are increasingly harder to shake off. You resolve to never drink again, and to become a more healthy person.
You ache for no reason
Ahead of the random aches and pains you hear your parents complaining about, you’re starting to hurt when you exert yourself because you’re not as effortlessly fit as you once were. Too many squats and you’ll feel like your butt is going to drop off and, sometimes, even a day at the shops leaves you with achey feet.
You have to diet
Guess what? You can’t eat whatever you want and get away with it any more.
Teenagers are so annoying
Whenever you pass a group of loud, annoying, obnoxious teenagers you wonder if you were that annoying when you were their age. And, yes, you probably were.
Getting ID’d feels wonderful
When you’re under 18 you pray that you won’t be asked for ID when you’re trying to buy alcohol, then, the second you turn 18, you enjoy a brief period of smugness. Why yes, Mr. Bar Man, I am 18 and I can prove it… but then it starts to annoy you. Of course you’re 18 – why don’t they believe you’re not a child anymore? I’m not sure at what point things change, but one day you’ll wake up and suddenly being asked for ID is the greatest compliment a person can pay you.
You’re in the prime of your life
This is it. Take a look in the mirror. You’re never going to be younger or fitter than you are now.
You realise what poor fashion taste you had…
You’re looking back on every photo of you, ever, and wondering what they hell you were thinking with every outfit you’ve ever worn.
…and every hairstyle you’ve ever had has been awful…
Despite dying your hair every colour under the sun, chopping bits off, glueing bits in and just generally abusing it, it never looked anything but embarrassing.
…and you still don’t know what to wear
You still empty out the contents of your wardrobe onto you bedroom floor and sit amongst it, sobbing about having nothing to wear.
Your parents know everything
It blows your mind when you realise that your parents were right about everything, ever. They always knew best, they always had all the answers and, guess what? They still do. You’re never too old to need your mummy and your daddy.
You can’t call men ‘nice’ anymore…
We’re all brought up to be nice and then, suddenly, when a guys is nice to you and you tell him so, he complains that he doesn’t want to be thought of as “nice”. And if you don’t want to go out with said nice guy, you get accused of putting him in something called the “Friendzone”. The “Friendzone” is not a thing, people. Girls are not vending machines that you put kindness coins in until sex falls out.
...but nice, kind and funny is suddenly far more important than handsomeness
The older you get, the less you care about what a guy looks like. Sure, the buffed-up gym junkies are nice to look at, but you really just want someone who will make you laugh, cheer you up when you’re having a bad day and just generally care whether you live or die.
TV is your best friend, your social life and your therapist
The shine has worn off crazy nights out a little. Sometimes you’d rather slip one a onesie and watch a TV box set. Netflix might be one of the greatest things to ever happen to you and the Breaking Bad finale was one of the highlights of your 2013 calendar. TV is always there for you, and you’ve learned a lot from it.
You don’t feel like an adult
You’re an adult now, but you don’t feel like one. You’re supposed to have everything figured out, but you don’t. What you need is some kind of spirit guide or self-help book or something – anything – because the truth is you have no idea what you’re doing.
You’re looking forward to your thirties…
Your thirties are going to be great because you’re certain you’ll have it all figured out by then.
…and you just know that your forties are going to be awesome
So long as you don’t lose your dinosaur.
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