I always though that life at twenty five would be pretty sorted. That everything would have fallen into place and life would be sweet. Of course, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that life isn’t like that, at any point, and yet still, there’s this feeling that something hasn’t fallen into place somewhere, that something went wrong, that I went wrong -somewhere, somehow.
Because how was life meant to be?
I genuinely thought, when I was ten or so – and probably older – that twenty five year olds were incredibly grown up. They had everything sorted out. They had freedom to do what they wanted. They had jobs, boyfriends, husbands, babies, confidence, and more. Of course, this was certainly a skewed perception – from books, TV, films, and more. But it was a myth that stayed with me as I grew older, confident that one day that magic switch would be pressed and I would suddenly become this wonderful human being that I always thought I should be with “everything”.
I think, in many ways, I continued to expect this to happen, even while I was at university. Of course, after university, I would think, that’s when it would fall into place. And now, looking back, I suppose, thing did begin to fall into place – but not in the way that I wanted things to – not in the way that I thought they should. But I still held that belief that everything would fall magically into place and sort itself out; that I would become like everyone else, but that never happened, and now I don’t think it will, because it’s not meant to.
I’m not meant to be anyone else – just me, but I think about the lives I could have lived. Have I gone the right way, chosen the right path? Should I be doing what everyone else does? What is it that everyone does?
And the panic arrives, because I can imagine myself in so many different places, doing so many different things – and should I be in the city, commuting, living a life that it seems everyone else is living? Should I give up on this now, or should I continue to try to make things, in some way, different?
And so being twenty five, is nothing like I expected. Nothing has fallen into place – not the things that I thought should fall into place anyway. Instead, I am still muddling through, trying to make sense of life and the things I want to do – and trying to make them happen.
At twenty five, university is behind us.
Life suddenly seems scary. There are no boundaries, restraints – no school or rules, in that sense. But there are different rules – unspoken rules about paths to follow, jobs, meeting people, friendships – everything.
We don’t live in worlds like the Friends gang do.
Friends move away, scatter across the world, and different friendship groups are formed. Things change. People come and go. Lives change.
At twenty five, we’re in the middle of life choices, jobs, decisions – trying to decide the best way to go – the right way. There are so many choices to make, and I can’t. I want to do the right things, the things that are right for me, but of course I don’t know what they are. I am confident that in the future I will look back and laugh at this, but right now, I just don’t know. I don’t want to let life just slip me by, I don’t want to miss out on opportunities, but nor do I want to forget to live. Doesn’t it always seem too, that everyone else always seems so much further ahead?
I can’t be the only one with this huge internal dilemma, trying to make the right decisions. And yet, at times it feels like it. Because what does it mean to be twenty five?
The things that I thought it meant when I was a kid aren’t the same anymore. Growing up isn’t just about getting married and having kids, I’ve realised, and anyway, my priorities are different these days – although I’m still writing, writing, writing, something that has always been a priority to me. But I’ve also been forming “me”, working out who I am, and realising, that sure, I don’t have to be like everyone else.
I still don’t really know what it means, or where life is going, but I do know that the future is still waiting to be written, and I can do that.