It’s striking how different our attitudes to age can be. The majority of my friends are on the cusp of turning 20 and are not looking forward to it. One has even sworn she’s not going to celebrate her birthday and will instead remain 19 for as long as she can get away with it, or at least until she can’t cover her liver spots with concealer anymore.
But aren’t your 20s meant to be the best years of your life?
Traditionally, they were the years you left home, met a nice to man to save you from the drudgery of independence, entered into the state of matrimony and got so pregnant you couldn’t bend to do the clasp of your shoe. Later they evolved into the years your career took off, you had disposable income, you attended fabulous parties, drank martinis and frolicked with other gorgeous people. Now? finish university, accumulate a healthy amount of debt, move home and intern – free of charge.
I’d like to think I’m being facetious, but then again, I’d like to think that when I’m writing this I look like Carrie Bradshaw, inhaling a cigarette and tapping my Manolo Blahnik-clad foot. I’m drinking milk and wearing slippers.
So what’s changed? The economy has always fluctuated so it can’t really be that, the weather’s not much different, neither are our diets. Our living standards, legal rights and education have generally improved. The only obvious difference (to me) is us. We are not those people who were having a fabulous time in our 20s.
I admit, I was being a facetious and cynical to boot. I was also being dishonest when I tried to pretend I wasn’t. As another friend remarked on the subject (a couple of days before the big 2-0 I hasten to add) “Half way to 40…”. Half way? We better get a move on and enjoy it then. We’ve spent 19 years getting here, are we really going to turn our backs on the idea before we’ve even had time to experience it? I mean, think about it rationally, if we’re this grumpy about it now, goodness knows what we’ll be like when we actually get to 40. Now that’s something I wouldn’t want to be around to see.