THE LATE TWENTIES

large (2)And just like that, I turned 27.

It seems like only yesterday that I didn’t want mum and dad to leave me alone at the school gate; since I had my first boyfriend; since I was put into detention for talking too much and since graduation. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was too scared to ask for mayonnaise in restaurants, since I drank prosecco despite the hellish hangover to follow and since I bought all my clothes in Primark. Basically, time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.

And so here I am. In my late twenties. Young for some, ancient to others.

But what’s it like?

Well, when people asked me at 17 where I thought I’d be in ten years time, I certainly wouldn’t have painted a picture of my current Hannah Horvath infused lifestyle. I wouldn’t have been living at home and I wouldn’t do what I do for a living. I used to think that when you were my age you were an adult: mortgaged, engaged, successful, maybe even pregnant? I was so excited about turning 27 that I used to stick apples down my shirt and prance around the house pretending to be as old as I am now. I had so many expectations for this year. And in truth, now that I’ve arrived, it’s a bit… weird. 

It’s sort of a halfway house between feeling capable enough to have a mortgage and raise children, but not wanting to. It’s a confusing mix of wanting to eat snacks on a comfortable sofa over going out dancing but then dearly missing the stories from epic nights out. It’s wishing that you had more responsibilities than you do but being secretly happy that you don’t own a dishwasher. It’s that fine line between crop tops and tees. It’s the knowing that you’re not old enough to feel stable just yet but also being very aware of the fact that you’re not young enough to live a completely carefree and frivolous lifestyle anymore.

But for all it’s uncertainty in some aspects of life, being 27 means that I know who I am and that all I want is to be happy. I finally know what clothes suit me and that it’s okay to wear winged eyeliner on the daily. I know that my freckles aren’t my own worst enemy. I know that my legs might not be my favourite feature but they’re not the worst that could happen to me. I smile everyday. And I know who my friends are.

But most of all? I recognise that it’s important to be grateful and that things will work out if I try hard enough.

Being 27 might come with a few more grey hairs and the pesky ability to put on weight far easier than being 26, but the understanding yourself a little better is well worth the wait.

Happy Birthday to me.

THE BIRTHDAY

large (12)It’s that wonderful time of year again where I gain a wrinkle, four grey hairs and have a crisis of age.

I love birthdays.

Obviously the cards, presents and celebratory food cushion the blow, but why do I always panic when I realise that I’m another year older despite understanding – since the tender age of five – the simple concept of time?

Despite this blind, undying ignorance, birthdays aren’t all bad. Because mine happens to fall in the spring time – the season best known for new beginnings, bunny rabbits and general pinterest-worthy joyousness – I always treat them like a second New Year. I pledge vows to myself and set targets for the year ahead by reflecting on the things I’d have done differently, and of course, I rarely stick to my promises. So I thought, why break the habit of a life time?

Because I’m older, and a little wiser now. That’s why.

It’s essential to think about improvement, but it’s equally as important to realise how far you’ve come. So I will start by thinking about the things that I know now, that I wish I knew then.

Here goes:

One. Things take time. This includes everything from projects, to love.

Don’t. Rush. Anything.

Two. Most people deserve a second chance. Rarely do people deserve a third.

Three. Do not, under any circumstances, fad diet. Just maybe cut down on the Kit Kats.

Four. Yoga is a whole lot more than stretching in tight pants. The older you get, the more you’ll realise this.

And five. Having fewer good friends is better than having lots of shit ones.

I could go on and on, as 25 years is actually quite a long time, but the gist is this: things will always be okay. Yes, I have had my heartbroken, but it’s fixed now. Of course, I have failed at things, but I’ve succeeded in so many others. And, much like you, I cut my own hair once. Badly. But it’s grown out now. What I’m trying to say is, despite living with these goddamn freckles and a butt the size of Narnia my entire life, there are plenty of people who would kill to be you or I. So instead of trying to better ourselves each year, why not give ourselves a pat on the back, just for making it this far? Because life isn’t always a lemon sorbet at the seaside, if you know what I mean? And we’re probably doing alright, considering.

Behind a haze of pollution and astonishing drink prices, it’s really rather easy to forget why you’re alive, but when your birthday swings round, and people come together just to celebrate the simple fact that you were born, it all, very suddenly, becomes oh so clear.

Always be thankful for what you have. And I’m not talking about that new camera.

Happy Birthday to me.

TURNING 26

b4e472ecc3f94b0f277d12ef05d59dc0

The last time I was bothered about getting older was when I turned 21.

Something about entering my early twenties freaked me out and now my late twenties are doing the exact same job. Much to my surprise however, it was my best birthday yet. Surrounded by the people I love was the best present I could ever have asked for and I felt very grateful today, despite being really quite hungover.

Ryan kicked off the celebrations by giving me my present before the party and I was a little overwhelmed to say the least. I had been banging on about saving for a camera for such a long time and he (unbelievably) took it upon himself to get me one- it’s definitely one of the best presents I’ve ever received!

Once I’d wiped away my tears of ABSOLUTE JOY, I got dressed and poured myself a G&T. We ate pizza and drank some too much prosecco before heading out to Tooting and then back again for drunken yoga moves and cheeseburgers. Here are a bunch of my favourites…

11083622_10205166781122161_4837848825031460364_n

11083619_10205166771081910_8807776180010651098_n

11052233_10205166764281740_6156688309548573784_n

14695_10205166736041034_6994888975608340891_n

11083622_10205166769041859_8825443456344224416_n

11081427_10205166802402693_5867353442050735950_n

10906077_10205166721840679_4719847475207047000_n

18083_10205166740281140_6828621219892265748_n

Check out the cupcakes that my friend Helen made for me…

1798770_10205166804442744_1053473220116694868_n

… and some of the presents my friends gave me…

FullSizeRender-3

FullSizeRender-4

FullSizeRender

I woke up this morning and gorged on cupcakes in bed before lounging around and working off my hangover whilst Ryan cleaned the flat.

IMG_5996

Mum and dad kindly came and picked us up late afternoon to enjoy a curry and open some more presents at home with the whole family.

The best birthday yet! Here’s to being 26!

THE FRIENDSHIP GROUP

large (3)

At school we were called cliquey, at university we were deemed long-distance lovers and now we’re not sure what people say because it’s just us, without anyone looking, or getting in.

Some might focus on the downside to surrounding myself with the same five women everyday; they might wince at some of the intimate details we’ve shared with each other from the bedroom… or bathroom; they probably think we should get out more and meet new people and some might not give a damn.

Don’t get me wrong, we have our own friends, a few of us have men in our lives and we spend enough time with work colleagues and university pals in our free time, but when the shit hits the fan, or we sky-rocket to success, we know who to dial (or WhatsApp) first.

Although I adore my home town, it can be a scary place when you’re growing up: being robbed is a reality; navigating the tube at eleven years old is the norm; bomb scares at school were a regular occurrence and being turned away from the clubs of Soho at 16 years old was a rite of passage. So, as opposed to growing up in the country, where the biggest threat is the nearest cow, living in the big city since birth means that there is more of an urgency to cement yourself within a group of friends- not only to listen to your tales of woe, but to make sure you make it home in one piece.

I’m lucky. The girls who surround me now are the ones that I have grown up with. From first loves, first times, and first Bacardi Breezers, to graduating, getting engaged and securing the perfect jobs; we’ve been there. These ladies aren’t just around when times get hard, nor are they only cheering you on as you complete your most recent triathlon or to welcome you home from a year-long adventure across the globe; they’re there all the time. When you’ve over-filled yourself on dim sum or when you’ve broken a nail: they’re interested, they’re present, they’re listening.

And that is why friendship is important.

Finding the perfect partner is a wonderful thing, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. I’d be perfectly happy spending my final days with this lot; reminiscing about teenage flings and that night in Mexico that we’ll take to our grave. Sounds like a much better option to me than watching your other half lose his teeth, hair and marbles trying to keep up with your progressive banter.

Although we never go to the bathroom in a bar without a hand to hold and are deemed to be the less independent of the sexes, men need friends too. My bearded buffoon has a group of friends so tight that I think they might one day combust. Secrets never to be divulged and infinitely fall-out-proof, this group of men make my girls look like we don’t even know each other. And that’s pretty cool if you ask me. People with friends are people to rely on and are the types of people you want to have relationships with: their loyalty has been tried and tested, they’re guaranteed to have some great stories and if you’re really, really lucky, their friends will become your friends too.

I know that with most things in life, quantity doesn’t trump quality, and friendship is no exception to this rule; one really good friend is far better than five average ones. But what if you have five epic ones?

I’m starting to think I’ve struck gold… until I remember that they too are flawed.

One tells me off for putting salt on my toast; one farts freely in my presence; one (I’m almost certain) is unsure of what planet she’s on half the time; one insists on getting the night bus home instead of a taxi and one nicks all the male attention on nights out. But for all of their flaws? They’re the most water-tight bunch of women in the world with a collection of the best brains and beautiful faces this planet has ever known. Without them, I’m not sure I’d still be standing.

So here’s to the friendship group; your very own handpicked family- a little shoddy, embarrassing at times, but arguably more important than your best friend or lover.

Two’s company, three’s a crowd, more than that is a fucking adventure.

Cheers to them.

28281_10150176859555615_6193496_n  10849027_10154903554665717_5005474869754949285_o 10612981_10154605211080717_2080584194315055146_n 10499491_10154442561505481_4256799855809952867_o 

The Grey

large (2)

So I was looking in the mirror this morning, attempting to control my mane, when I found the first grey hair.

I was already being melodramatic enough about turning 21, being in my third year at university and not having a job lined up for afterwards without this nonsense.

It has to be said, this find tipped me over the funeral planning, will writing edge and I have just written a list of ten things to do before I die; purchasing hair dye being one of them.

But hold on, dad turned grey mid twenties. He still looks good, right? Who cares, whatever happens I’ll end up looking like Cruella.

I’m going to have to keep an eye on Kate Moss to see how she deals with it. In the mean time, I’ll look to the inspirational locks of Granny Rock for tips on making grey hair cool.