There are many milestones to be reached when growing up, blossoming, wilting and finally withering and dying. Some are super obvious, such as gaining bladder control, learning to walk or donning your first bra. Others are more often overlooked. Here is a brief ode to the twenties.
I remember asking why footstools existed when I was small. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to put their feet on any surface other than the floor when sitting in a chair. What difference could a few inches make? It remained an alien concept until my mid-twenties when, having racked up a fair few hours doing retail work, I fully understood the importance of the footstool. Raising those work-wearied feet just a little higher is such a nice sensation, one that, I suppose was once the norm (I forget how youth felt- I mean, I’m mid-twenties now).
Other more positive things do occur with age though. Most people, around the same time as the footstool enlightenment period, will notice their tastes begin to change. You will now like olives and red wine, and prefer them to more fluorescent foods with pink icing and sprinkles all over them. Whether this is in response to your body’s plea for some blood thinning and a better electrolyte balance is hard to say, but you mark my words, there will be taste bud changes…
One of the most surprising things about being in your mid-twenties is arguably your need for sleep. Remember those blissful years where you would get up for school, head out on the town, roll back home in the very early hours and then go to your Saturday job on 2 hours sleep before hitting the town again? (Perhaps you don’t remember. It was already a long time ago). Well those days are gone, and with the drudgery of earning a living and doing stuff, you realise that the sleep deficit doesn’t just go away anymore. Now the concept of being too tired to go out is actually scarily real- you always think that’s a rubbish excuse from people who don’t really want to go until you are that person. After a full day, you start to look forward to bed time and on particularly tiresome days, you sometimes even dose off in a chair after tea. Sorry, but this does happen. Not getting home from work until 9.30 doesn’t help of course, but consume a few calories and the dozing commences whether you like it or not.
Then your friends start popping out babies and buying houses and getting married and you have to understand terms like ‘mortgage’ and ‘planning ahead’ when really all you want to do is sit and watch Ross Poldark washing in the sea… (Well unless we’re being unrealistic- in that case I’m in the sea washing Ross Poldark).
Quarter life crisis
You may reach a point about now, where you worry that you don’t really have much of a career to speak of- just lots of fingers in lots of mainly unprofitable pies. Now, whilst that one profitable pie is nice and full of interesting, lovely people… it’s not quite what you envisioned when asked what you wanted to be when you grew up. Am I here? I think I might be here… it’s not mid-life crisis time so I can’t buy myself a motorbike yet… I think I’ll just do something else a bit crazy. I just booked flights to Australia again… Happy mid-twenties!