5 things that make me feel slightly less like I’m about to have a mental breakdown

I am all over the place. Some days I am luvin lyf 2k17, and others I open a Wagon Wheel slightly too vigorously, it drops on the floor, and tears prickle my eyes. There is literally no in between.

The last couple of months have been first world difficult. I left the career I dedicated my early twenties to. Plus everyone is betrothed, while I’m 95% sure the last guy I dated ended it because I fell asleep while we were watching Angels & Demons (which, in my defence, is boring AF). So yes, this #survivor is expecting her slot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show very soon.

Being an adult is a lot trickier than I thought it would be, but there are a few things that make me feel (deluded or otherwise) like I ever-so-slightly have my shit together:

  • Joining the gym for the 6786th time when there is not a chance in bollocks I will actually go

Snapchat smallestAs I enter my direct debit details on the Pure Gym website, I feel a sense of elation. This is it. I am going to rid myself of the belly fat that peers over my jeans like a meerkat checking for predators. I am going to be scouted for Britain’s Next Top Model.  I am going to have a sculpture of my insanely toned abs installed in the National Art Gallery.

Then it rains. Or I come on my period. Or I leave work five minutes later than usual. And I end up paying £18.99 a month for Pure Gym to send me guilt-trip texts reminding me that I haven’t hauled my lazy ass to the gym for 27 years. “Just fuck off,” I mumble, swiping off the message with my pizza-greased fingers, “I’ll go tomorrow.” *

*This is a lie. 

  • Ordering stuff I can’t afford off the internet

There are seven words that send a shiver of delight down my spine. A thrill so electric I can barely contain myself.

 “There’s a parcel for you in reception.”

God, I love it. The anticipation whilst flouncing down the stairs, the cradling the package to my chest like a little baby, the grand reveal once I’ve scuttled into my bedroom. Granted, nine times out of ten it is absolute tat and being sent back, but still.

  • Being smooth

There is nothing relaxing about having hair ripped from your skin. Let’s just get that straight. But there is also nothing relaxing about being late for work because all of your pants are in the wash and you don’t have tights thick enough to conceal your hairy legs. So a monthly wax is an excellent, if rather expensive, investment. Plus to put a few myths to rest: it does NOT take off your skin, it does NOT grow back thicker, you DO have to peel apart your ass cheeks like Moses and the Red Sea if you want your bum doing as well.

  • Netflix binges

I’m not talking a li’l Pretty Little Liars marathon; I’m talking a sunlight-what-is-that-dear-God-I-stink odyssey. I never feel as enlightened as when I have spent all weekend cocooned in my duvet, forfeiting exercise and basic hygiene to broaden my mind with documentaries about death row prisoners and people who are addicted to eating bubble wrap.

  • Writing

I am an emotional clam. But just because I don’t always say much, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot going on in my head. Ultimately, all of that drivel needs an outlet. So welcome to my blog.

It’s OK if your 20s haven’t gone to plan
kid

So young. So full of hope.

Being 26 is a curious thing. And by curious, I mean bewildering, soul-destroying and occasionally absolutely terrifying. It’s a ‘nothing’ age. You’re neither young nor old. You’re like an awkward fringe you can’t quite grow out.

When I was younger, I thought that people in their twenties were adults, they had their shit together, they were O-L-D. But now I realise that they weren’t old at all. They were like me. A child trapped in an adult’s body, squeaking desperately for someone to come and rescue them.

Over time, I have learnt that life isn’t like one of those Goosebumps books where you can sneakily flick to the alternative endings and pick the one where you don’t get eaten by a mutant sponge. It’s scary and unpredictable, and you just have to roll with it.

So here is a list of 7 things I thought I would have going for me in my mid-20s that I seriously, seriously don’t:

1.I thought I would be married with at least one kid by now.

I used to think that people who were still single in their late twenties had some kind of icky, gross malady that prevented suitors from wanting to put a ring on it. But sometimes relationships just don’t pan out the way you hope they will. And sometimes it’s for the best. Plus I am definitely not ready for offspring. I had to hold a baby at a wedding last month and I hated every second of it.  Between trying to look maternal, all I could think was ‘why won’t it blink?’ and ‘why does it not cry when people pick it up by its armpits when I cry if I catch my bingo wing on a door frame?’

2. I thought I would be a sex goddess by now.

I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. It’s like trying to assemble an IKEA wardrobe. WHERE DOES THIS BIT GO? WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS WEIRD LITTLE LEFTOVER THING?! My predicament is not helped by frantically reading bizarre sex tips in women’s magazines. Instead, I am left with further performance anxiety after discovering that I can’t quite pull off rubbing cocoa beans over my lover’s scrotum while in the Grab Your Coat You’ve Pulled a Cheeky Flamenco position.

3. I thought I would understand bills and general life crap by now.

I do not understand bills and general life crap.

4. I thought I would be a stunnah by now.

The one thing I clung to when I was a teenager and my hair was greasy and I had no boobs and developed a moustache was that one day I would be peng. One day, puberty would wave her magic wand, release me from this sarcophagus of 4-out-of-10-ness and rebirth me as a beautiful butterfly. But if anything, I am grosser now than ever. I have fat in places I didn’t even know you could have fat. I am spottier. I am hairier. I am scalier. I am basically turning into an armadillo.

5. I thought I would be on the property ladder by now. 

One of the many perks of being a journalist is that I earn way below the average graduate salary. Like if the graduate salary was a bus, I would be running after it panting. If the graduate salary was Leonardo DiCaprio, I would be being restrained by a security guard after trying to stroke its face. If the graduate salary was a Snitch, I would be chasing it on a mop. So unless I immediately marry a Russian oil tycoon, I shan’t be owning my own house anytime soon.

6. I thought I would stop getting ID’d by now.

When I got the A Level results I needed to get into university but couldn’t celebrate with my two friends at Ko-Ko’s in Rochdale town centre because I didn’t have ID and had the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid, I was fuming. “You will pay for this,” I vowed, as thunderstorms cracked in the midnight sky. I considered writing to Parliament. I considered a dirty protest. I considered launching my own charity to help other victims. But now, it’s the opposite. As I inch closer to 30, looking young is a compliment. In fact, I am offended if people don’t ID me. “Wait, don’t you want to verify my age?” I want to cry indignantly. “Don’t you think I’m too young-looking to be purchasing this alcoholic beverage?” I reach into my bag. “I have ID. Check my ID. Please,” I beg, before slamming my driving licence, passport, birth certificate and 22-week ultrasound scan onto the counter.

7. I thought I would have outgrown my ‘awkward phase’ by now.

Chink chink. The sound of glass tinkling, a champagne cork popping. Laughter. Schmoozing. Another glamorous cocktail party organised by yours truly. So, this one didn’t pan out. Mainly because I don’t live in the 1980s, but also because I am still super awkward.