HOW I FEEL ABOUT TURNING 24
It was my birthday on November 7th, and I turned twenty-four. This year was a notable change in my feelings towards being another year older. Twenty-three was fine. Twenty-two was good. Twenty-one was great. Twenty-four, however, was bad.
For some reason, the thought of being in my ‘mid-twenties’ is vaguely terrifying. It feels like I’m now classed as a proper adult and should be expected to know how to do all the adult things that I definitely do not know how to do. I’m conflicted because, on one hand, I am doing all those scary adult things – I’m married, have six (animal) children and we actually own our home. I’ve always had a sensible, mature head on my shoulders, so that’s nothing new. I do think if I was currently single, I’d be in a totally different place in life – My husband is the one doing all the adulting and I’m just following behind, nodding and encouraging, but not really doing anything myself. Personally, I feel a lot younger than my cousins seemed at age twenty-four.
I don’t feel old enough to be twenty-four; I still feel the same as I did when I was seventeen. There’s still the anxiety about talking to people on the phone or answering the door. I’m still shy at family functions. I would rather my mum book my appointments for me (and even though she’s 200 miles away, she does). Inside, I feel the same; I just have different experiences that seventeen year old me didn’t. Do I look different? My makeup does, that’s for sure.
I was recently told – by numerous people, actually – that I looked around thirty years old rather than twenty-four. The news was taken hard; I have always been the ‘young-looking’ one in any situation. It made me dread getting older, feeling older and looking older. My career choice of YouTuber means I’m surrounded by those younger and more successful than me, which is probably not the best choice for someone who’s scared of getting older and never doing something decent with my life, especially considering how difficult it is to ‘make it’ on YouTube these days. I’m constantly comparing myself to other people my age or younger with millions of subscribers, or those who are older yet look twenty years old.
The day before my birthday I didn’t get ID’d to buy wine in a shop where you had to look twenty-five or over.
I don’t know whether I’ll ever suddenly switch into adult-mode and be able to do the things I currently can’t, or whether my entire mindset will change (or whether I’ll suddenly age backwards). I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again to gain another year. At the moment, all I can think about is the fact I’m not in my early twenties now. I know twenty-four, even thirty-four, isn’t old whatsoever in the scheme of things, but in my head I’m past-it.
And that’s how I feel about twenty-four.