One Quarter Life Crisis, Coming Up, The Laughing Life

One Quarter Life Crisis, Coming Up

So it’s my birthday today and I’m still blogging strong (no rest for the wicked). I’ve just turned the grand old age of 23 and, to most people, that’s still fresh out of the womb. But to me, I’m creeping towards that mid-twenties mark. And that means hungover days feel wasted and wrong and are far more frequent, because I just can’t handle my alcohol anymore. When I get ID’d at Sainsburys, with my classy (but still cheap) bottle of wine, I’m delighted. When I’m out in Shoreditch, ‘the young people’ irritate me with their hipster beards, their chinos and their loud, illiterate, drunken banter. When I’m in any bar on a Friday night I actually consider asking the DJ to turn the music down. And some Friday nights, I just stay in with Netflix (no chill, just the genuine sad lonely Netflix…Whole marathons of Desperate Housewives can be achieved in a matter of hours). My back clicks in strange places at odd moments. Sometimes, my hips creak. I’m already planning my diet around getting old (and failing, so few tasty things are healthy…) I know I know, you middle aged readers are laughing at me, I don’t know the half of it yet, and you’re right. But when you hit twenty three, all sorts of questions come up at reunions, get-togethers, family meals…

For instance: how’s your love life? The dreaded question. The wedding invitations come flooding in, even baby pictures are cluttering up Facebook timelines, friends are staying in, boring as hell because they’re watching films with the boyf or skyping the long-distance boyf or doing things they don’t want to go into with the boyf, and the other friends are out on those touch-and-go Tinder dates. Twenty three, is it the year of Happn for me…? It’s a depressing thought to wake up to on a Sunday morning…

Quarter Life Crisis, The Laughing Life

Is this what my date nights will become? Is this the life of a twenty three year old? Oh God no…

Then there’s: ‘so what do you do?’ at those reunions with old Uni friends. That non-existent career you have to explain to the suited booted legal adviser, half way up the ladder already, while you try to big up that great internship you did months ago. And those rare friends that are already paying back their student loans, because they’re earning enough – it all hurts on days such as birthdays, when you mark another year of being alive and assess what you’ve done with that time.

I’m proposing a new approach to birthdays – let’s just enjoy the cake. Icing and all. The presents, the booze, the people that bother to buy or attend or ring. Let’s realise that introspection is not the route to happiness and that it takes up valuable time (which we are running out of every second). This birthday, I’m not going to pull a Rachel Green, I’m going to ignore those niggling anxieties and I’m going to live twenty three as if I won’t reach twenty four. Because in a blink, you’ve lost what just happened; every second, we cannot change the one before it, and every minute, we suffer the consequences and lost opportunities of the minute preceding it. Yes, time flies away from us and we live such little lives, but doesn’t that just give each second the value it deserves?

So this birthday is going to be treated as if it is the last. Because I refuse to waste a chance to celebrate something with food and alcohol.

Quarter life crisis, The Laughing Life

Okay so maybe I won’t enjoy every second quite THIS much.

All photos provided by Ed Gregory

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