Do you remember how you thought your life would be at this point? I do – in my adolescent
years, I imagined 27 would look like a one-bedroom apartment, with a boyfriend who
absolutely adored me, in either Enfield Town (I loved my hometown) or Highbury (because
the houses looked cool there). I’d be writing for Cosmopolitan like Carrie from Sex In The City, or
well on my way to being some form of a corporate blazer-wearing she-boss like Joan from
Girlfriends. I never thought for a second about what owning a house really entails and how
far from reality it really is at this precise moment in time. I had no idea how much hassle
boys can be, let alone actual boyfriends. I never anticipated that my taste and salary may
not necessarily (or ever, in my case) …match. I remember thinking adulthood meant that I
could do anything I pleased. I never thought my lifestyle would actually be a lot more
reminiscent of Bridget Jones.
If we fast forward things to today, my twenty-something reality, much like many others
looks a bit more like this: There is an overwhelming feeling of not being where I thought I
would be, doing what I truly want to do. I’m in a job that I like, but not love. I make nowhere
near enough money to do the things I thought I’d be doing by now. The dream of home
ownership gets further and further away in this economical climate and some months feel
like I’m literally just getting by. Letters are NEVER exciting to open, and really trivial but
rather adult-esque things annoy me, such as having to leave the party so you can wake up
on time for work tomorrow, despite the fact that nobody’s forcing you to do either!
Hangovers last longer too, and that’s truly the worst bit.
The twenties decade hasn’t been full of hand-to-mouth living and dark days, though. There
have been many drunken nights, a NOTABLE increase in drunken days (with the rise in
day/brunch parties in the last three or so years), messy holidays and unspeakable
escapades, first car purchases, and for many of us 90s and millennial babies, the birth of our
own booming businesses. It’s an age of personal, sexual, financial and professional
discovery, and probably the only ten-year range where we know we’re not children
anymore and will be held responsible for anything we do, yet still somewhat given a bit of
free reign to figure things out and change direction without too many raised eyebrows. Or
So sometimes I think to myself – what changed for me? What changed for many of my
peers, who had big dreams like I did? After thinking long and hard, it dawned on me - one of
the biggest differences between children and adults is definitely the biggest crippler of
dreams – the presence of fear. We, as humans, learn to become afraid. Fear is a learned
concept. All you have to do is look at the difference in behaviour between them and us.
Shameless behaviour displayed by children is actually something I truly envy – simple things,
such as excessively loud conversations on the back of the bus during a school run or singing
a song in public at the top of their lungs without a care in the world who watches, which is
basically the whole point. They don’t care what other people think. They are literally just
being who they are. Most adults I know won’t even run for a bus for fear of being
embarrassed if the bus were to leave them. If. Meaning they probably won’t even try to
catch that bus. Much like a lot of opportunities. Sound familiar?
Sometimes as an adult, when an opportunity presents itself to us, we immediately think of
all the things that could go wrong if we actually tried to do what it is, we truly want to do.
We think of every hazard involved, hiding behind the gaze of risk assessment, when really,
it’s just bona fide pussyole-ism. We definitely have the power to do more as adults with
access to more information and resources, but the blissful ignorance that comes with youth
means we don’t know enough to be scared about it. Kids just “do”.
It seems, the choice really is ours to do what we want. But the fine print that comes with
adulthood is reeeeealllly fine and definitely overlooked. We literally have the power to be
both the orchestrator or killer of our own dreams.