THE SUNDAY PAPERS

large (1)

It’s the last Sunday of January. If that’s not a reason to celebrate by lazing in bed all day, I don’t know what is. Enjoy my favourite reads from the last 7 days as you do just that.

Female Friendship

The 1 at 25

Ex Texts

Birth Photography

Make Friends

Depression is Real

Babies

What a Bummer

Veil or No Veil?

Changing China

I’m looking at you, mum

Girls Only

Self Help

All About Me

Have a great week.

FREEDOM – A GUEST POST

large (1)When I was young I was free.

Of course, we all were. We didn’t have jobs, rental agreements or hangovers, we were just existing in a wonderful state of sometimes-euphoric mostly-moody teen angst, where the only thing greater than our lack of responsibility was our cereal intake.

Then, one day, something happened, and our longing to be adults who were taken seriously smashed us in the face harder than the floor did that time we tried skateboarding in the Tesco car park, and we realised that all along we’d been tricked into following a false dream.

We were rewarded with responsibility when we worked hard and proved we were deserving; finally being left alone in the house when our mum went to play squash of an evening at age 13 (and inviting our much older and frankly creepy boyfriend over to watch South Park and make out), being given complete control of our own computer priviliges at 14 (and looking at weird sex forums on the AOL chatroom), even being gifted the holy grail of deciding our own bedtime at 15 (and wrecking our sleeping pattern by forcing ourselves to stay up until 1am just so we could say we did).

At the time, we were oblivious to the fact that we were being slowly integrated into the adult community. We were under the illusion that these fun perks were the main components of adulthood, that choosing our own dinners (spaghetti with hot dogs cut up in it) and having free reign of the TV on weeknights (Hollyoaks > The Simpsons > Dream Team > Bad Girls) were the biggest decisions we were ever going to have to make.

Inevitably the fun slows down as we realise that when they start to give us actual cold hard cash in college our mum will tell us we have to use it to pay for our own clothes and junk food, rather than Colin Farrell wall calendars and hair extensions like we were planning to. They’ll start trusting us with being able to get ourselves to class on time but won’t tell us that we’ll actually feel obliged to be there, and that bunking off in the park in the sunshine will make us feel anxious and sweaty, not warm and relaxed.

When you escape to university you start to think that maybe you were right all along – adulthood is brilliant! You can pass your semesters without going to a single lecture thanks to the miracle that is the Internet, you get money for nothing – literally nothing – and can spend it on whatever you want, and people practically force you to spend your time having fun rather than focusing on your responsibilities.

Eventually, though, your university years pass you by and the fun suddenly stops. Everybody tells you that your “real life” is about to start but in reality it feels like everything is coming to a grinding halt.

We resign ourselves to getting a job and go through emotional turmoil from our very first day of the nine-to-five existence, wondering how we’re ever going to survive fifty years of getting up every day and going to work without being discovered and becoming a worldwide star or bagging ourselves a billionaire husband before the age of 22.

We flirt with the idea of becoming exotic travellers like the girls we see on Instagram who spend their time modelling bikinis and getting high, but very quickly realise that we are neither cute enough nor rich enough to kick start that venture. Bizarre job choices become more romanticised than ever and one day you’ll find yourself thinking “I probably could be a professional wrestler” in a bid to settle yourself in any profession that doesn’t involve ever stepping foot in an office and spending the third day in a row helping Neil fix the printer.

We wonder if freedom will ever come again, if we’ll ever be blessed with the familiar but distant feeling that anything is possible, and then one morning we find ourselves curled up in bed at 5am after a really shitty 24 hours, so we call our best friend from the comfort of our flat that we decorated all by ourselves and are actually pretty proud of, and we venture into the city to climb a skyscraper in our pyjamas, buy a hot chocolate with money that we earned through our own hard work, and watch the sunrise over the tops of the sparkly buildings that once inspired us to think we could rule the world.

It’s on those mornings, above the clouds, whilst the city sleeps and you and your best friend eat croissants and slag off boys for a full fifty minutes, that you realise that this freedom is a better freedom than any you ever could have imagined when your mind was frantic and your thoughts were wild.

This freedom is real.

Written by Emmy Christmas.

A girl who wrote something perfect for this moment in my life, without even realising it. An angel.

Follow her on Twitter here, she’s hilarious. 

The Time

4x20_weddingdresses

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.