THE DOLLAR

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Before I begin, I would just like to point out that if you have invited me to your wedding/birthday party/hen/bar mitzvah or even your grandmother’s coming out party this year, I love you, I am looking forward to it, I will be there and it will be great.

I am just terrified.

Not terrified about meeting new people, getting too drunk, saying something stupid or figuring out what to wear, how to get there, or whether or not I’ll have a good time. In actual fact, I have growing concerns about the hole that is currently burning in my back pocket (or more realistically, purse).

I’m not tight. In fact, I’m pretty frivolous with cash. And yes, I do understand that due to my age, invitations to elaborate affairs are to be expected, but four weddings in four months seems a little excessive, don’t you think? Add to that a festival, a hen and a few birthday parties, as well as a new car and things begin to add up/I start to feel sick about how I’m going to afford it all.

I know.

Don’t even say it.

This post couldn’t be more first world pains if it tried.

I know that there are children missing in Calais and bombs going off around the world. I am well aware that global warming is a losing battle placed at the forefront of literally no one except Leonardo DiCaprio’s minds and basically all of the good celebrities are dying this year, but seriously, this influx of expensive weddings in exotic locations, matched with sky high estate agent fees and other unearthly costs are getting to me. And although I care about these aforementioned global issues, please just humour me and allow me to nab just five minutes of your time to moan and bask in our mutual (because I just know that I’m not alone in this) hatred for all things money related.

And if you don’t want to hear it? Click away now.

Basically, being 27 in 2016 is quite difficult.

The majority of my friends are living with their parents. Some have only just left home and others are returning home to save money on rent. We still drink before we go out, if we’re having a big one, in order to save cash on cocktails and we jump at the chance to use a 50% off key ring (who wouldn’t) to buy pizza from halfway across the city. We swap clothes and buy and sell online and we can still barely make rent (that’s if we’re even paying any). And I’m sorry, but I just can’t help but feel jealous of the generations that came before us who had probably bought a home and were two thirds of the way up their chosen career ladder by my age.

The problem is that I don’t take money too seriously. I like to earn it so that I can spend it on seeing a new part of the world or to eat dinner with friends. I never like to miss out on celebrating something wonderful with people I love – even if does mean forking out money from an overdraft – and saving, in this climate, seems like a waste of time to me. But I’m angry. Angry that I’m not alone in not being able to afford a fucking thing (despite having a full time job) and angry that I have to think so much about sheets of paper that, essentially, are nothing more than bog roll.

This post is pointless. I know that. I’ve just spent half an hour moaning in writing about having lovely weddings and birthdays to attend this year. I’ve just whined about having to fork out money in order to spend five, blissful days in a field with my boyfriend and I’ve moaned about paying for a new home with said boyfriend, something that other people would kill to be able to do.

So, although I had planned on berating the world for making money a necessity and had intended on putting all things cash-related to shame, all this post has done is remind me how lucky I am. Lucky that I have friends to share my money with and to spend my money on. Lucky that I have a job that allows me to enjoy such experiences. Lucky that I get the opportunity to have so much fun. And lucky that, although I might not be minted, I am happy.

So, although I haven’t achieved what I had set out to (which was to moan about the things I don’t have), I have instead been reminded of what I do have and have been rewarded with a huge (and much needed) dose of gratitude, which is never a bad thing.

Suck it up, Olivia. Life is good.

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.