The Time

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It’s happening. I know I’ve said I’ve been worried about it before. But it is actually happening now:

Engagements.

Weddings.

House Warmings.

Wanted pregnancies.

At what point did it become not-okay to turn to someone who tells you that they are with child and whisper ‘Jeez, what are you gonna do?’ Oh yeah, when I turned 25.

Not to be crass about the whole thing but when the bloody hell did this all start?! I’m still not sure what’s allowed to go into a dish washer yet and people are cracking right on with diamonds and breast pumps. Not at the same time obviously; I am not friends with Kim Kardashian.

It’s funny though, when these Facebook statuses began to crop up on a daily basis and paper invites were flying through the door, my initial reaction was to panic and whip out the wrinkle cream. Then I began to realise that less and less was I hearing of sloppy one night stands; regales of nightmare house-shares and trips to the STI clinic. Instead, I was watching my friends grow up and find happiness from stability: albeit a little scary, it’s also quite lovely.

Last week, I attended an event at my old school. I had a new found appreciation for the architecture which made feel a little decrepit when a group of girls, five years below, almost pushed me over the edge. I overheard them say, ‘I wonder if I’ll be like that when I’m older’ (I’m assuming by ‘that’, they meant ‘bearing an uncanny resemblance to a younger Kate Moss, with the sass of Beyoncé and the successes of Barack Obama). Actually what they probably meant was simply, ‘I wonder if we’ll be okay?’ Of course, on the surface we can all seem fine and even the happiest of creatures have a chapter of their lives that they don’t wish to read aloud, but it made me realise: we’ve all turned out alright, actually.

I’m not saying that everybody, at the age of 25, or even 45 for that matter, should be forcing themselves to take the next step in work, life or love. With a boyfriend who has a similar mental age to my own and me being, shall we say, a little uncertain in terms of my career, I am far from there, but it’s actually quite cool that I get to be a guest at my best friend’s wedding next year, and I am over the moon for my pal, who after years of doing long distance, is moving into a home with her lover. Equally, I am enjoying my friend’s stories of dating, their successes at work, and my brother and his girlfriend’s decision to go travelling at 27. It seems like people are finally getting their shit together, in one way or another, and I like it.

I refuse to let these changes scare me. I will, instead, wear something completely ridiculous on my head to this wedding next year and toast to her happiness, with one or ten glasses of Prosecco. And the same will stand for every social occasion for the next five years.

Here’s to our late twenties!

GULP.

Girls

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Normally, I wouldn’t write about a TV show. It’s too subjective, although arguably beards are too, and I am not a TV critic. I can’t tell you whether it is well shot or whether the lighting is most excellent, but the essence of it? That, I can grapple with.

My oldest and dearest friend suggested I watch Girls and after taking in the first episode where Hannah has very real and very un-air-brushed sex with Adam, I thought: this is not what I signed up for. I was used to “girly” American shows being littered with couture, an ability to live way beyond their means on the Upper East Side and far-fetched story lines of murder and lust. This was different. It didn’t need all of that tat. It was like a gritty British drama but with funny accents and feminism running through it.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s basically a series based around the lives of four girls, living in Brooklyn, in their early twenties. Sounds like it has been done before, doesn’t it? It really, really hasn’t. Lena Dunham, who is one of my idols and an emblem of feminism for our age, captured the essence of being a twenty-something in 2014 pretty much within the first four minutes of the pilot episode. In the three series that follow, she addresses interning, drugs, virginity, dance routines, an inability to love, STIs, abortion, OCD, dance routines, doggie style, girls being bitches, boys being amazing, people enjoying ACTUAL sandwiches and peeing on each other in the shower, which, I can assure you, is some people’s reality.

Some people hide from this realism, they want to zone out of an evening and pretend to be in American Hustle or something. But Dunham baring all despite not being a size zero is, and you might laugh, inspirational for some. The programme considers body image without being clichéd and patronising, it gets feminism oh-so-right, and it explores the importance of friendship in a world of Kardashians and cat fights.

In one episode, two of the main characters are taking a bath, one “bogie bombs” into the water and they laugh it off: if that isn’t reflective of true friendship then I don’t know what is.

It has faced controversy over implications of rape, the promotion of taking drugs and many have been offended by Hannah’s decision to wear a green, string bikini throughout an entire episode. That’s what I love about it though. It’s a two fingers up to the conventions of a TV show. It basically doesn’t give a shit about barriers, expectations and the watershed.

Young women of the 90s had Sex & the City, we needed something different and Dunham has provided.

Bukowski once said that he didn’t get the big deal about Shakespeare. He said, “How are the troubles of Kings going to be applicable to my life when I can’t even afford to eat?” This is hard for me to say but the same is true of Sex & the City (Yes, I am comparing it to Shakespeare, bore off snobbos).

How can a world littered with walk in wardrobes and cocktails be more applicable to my life than the reality of having no money, never being satisfied and not having match sticks for legs?

It can’t. And therefore, as a die-hard Carrie Bradshaw fan, this is hard for me to say, but Girls, you knock the proverbial Manolos off of Sex & the City.

I salute you Hannah and your string vest!

The Career

large (9)On looking at the picture, I’m sure you’ll have gathered that it’s not what you think.

I’m not going to sit here and spout to you about how petrified I am about being in third year and not having a job, because quite simply, I’m not that scared. I mean don’t get me wrong, the prospect of leaving university with no real plan does  indeed worry me a little… but it also fills with so much excitement. How boring it must be to know you are headed for a job as soon as you leave three years of “endless fun” only to walk straight into something you will be doing, and will most likely be sick of for the rest of your life.

For those of you who have a job lined up after university, this is NOT a criticism. I think it is wonderful if that is what makes you happy but this is just a little reminder to both myself and those of you who have absolutely no idea what you are going to do with your life that it is ABSOLUTELY FINE. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. Yes, that’s exactly what it is: fabulous.

You can live the dream… go travelling, experiment with narcotics, take up smoking, have sex in bins, act like you know everything when really you know nothing. Do anything that you will look back on in four years time and cringe about. That’s the fun of being an adolescent, something I will be until the age of 30 by the way, because let’s face it, that dude didn’t write the song “Forever Young” for nothing you know.

So girls; keeping wearing those miniskirts and smoking Marlboro lights and boys, keep being drunken fools and kissing far too many girls of an evening. That’s (apparently) what our early twenties were made for. Learning lessons. We have all the time in the world to be successful writers, bankers, teachers and business men; it’s our last chance to be young.

Embrace it. Live it. Look back and love it.