Thursday, 19 February 2009

Where did everyone go?

It suddenly dawned on me about a year ago that things had suddenly changed.

I was still in uni mode, something I've been suffering from for some time. This is the result of completing my undergraduate degree and then deciding I wanted to do a Masters degree. This meant I had a year of working to earn the money to pay for the Masters. Somehow this never actually happened. I don't mean the working part, just the saving money part. It was however a brilliant time, I worked in a coffee shop and went out 2/3 times a week and came in to work hungover/drunk and had a laugh.

The year I did my Masters degree was one of the best of my life. Waaaay better than doing my undergraduate degree and when I look back on that year, although there were crummy times and times when I cried, the grin spreads wide over my face as I remember nothing but smiles and laughs.

The euphoria from this year has shrouded me for the past 2 years I think. Even though I was now in the 'real' world, looking for a 'proper' job, I still had the mentality of a student and the over-arching theme of my life since then has been "it'll all work out in the end"

I had been so happily floating along that I hadn't actually noticed that everyone else around me wasn't still a student and was actually getting their lives in order. This dawned on me nearly a year ago when a relationship broke up and I found myself on my own. There I was, back in Hull, somewhere I swore I would never come back to, living with my Mum (I said I'd move back for a few months until I sorted myself out, I was here 2 years in November 2008), with a job which didn't really reflect the time and money I had put into going to university.

Meanwhile all my friends were progressing at astonishing rates. One is in London living in a fancy flat in St John's Wood employed by a large multi-national company on their graduate programme. Another was a bank manager, married and with a baby on the way. In my close circle of friends in Hull, of which there are 5, 4 of them now own their own homes. Yes. OWN. And people say that young people are never going to get on the property market - they should come to Hull where 25 year olds are capable of owning houses! One is engaged. One has a baby.

I've never particularly felt like an under-acheiver until I looked at this list. There wasn't even one thing I could tick off. Good job? Nope. Own house? Nope. Rented house? Nope. Live-in boyfriend? Nope. Baby? Hell no! This led to several mild panic attacks and breakdowns on my part until it hit me....

I don't have any of those things because I'm not ready for any of those things!!

When did people start growing up so soon?! We're constantly bombarded with the media telling us that women are having babies in their 40s, people are having several careers in their lifetimes, ditto boyfriends and husbands. What's the bloody rush?!

Yes all those people have all those things but do you know what else they are? BORING. I could handle them owning houses and having boyfriends and babies shooting out of them if it meant they were still fun people but they're not and when you do eventually manage to crowbar them out of their houses to come and have a drink they insist on bringing either the boyfriend or the baby along with them.

Me I'm happy being a young 25 year old. I still want to go out and get drunk on a weekend. I'm not going to move in with the nearest man to me just so that I can be like everyone else - I've seen people do that and guess what? They're back in my situation, living at home with their Mums and realising how boring they were back then.

So this is my challenge: To start growing up - yep I too am moving in with a boyfriend (although in to rented accomodation, let's take this one step at a time people!) but I am determined to remain the same fun, slightly neurotic person that I am. I will still be available for nights out and nights in (as long as they're accompanied with a bottle of wine). I am determined not to become like the rest of them....

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