*That was a rhetorical question, but I’m secretly hoping the answer is never.
I remember the weeks leading up to my 18th birthday, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. I assumed that as soon as I watched my iPhone clock tick past midnight and into the early hours of 15th July 2014 (god, I feel old), I would suddenly feel this immense wave of maturity, responsibility and self assurance. So, when I woke up and all of the alcohol wore off (I was celebrating no longer having to use a fake ID, sorry mum), it came as a huge shock when I still felt exactly like 17-year-old Ella, but just with a bit of a hangover.
This continued with the birthdays that followed, I am now 21 and there’s nothing new to report; other than my running tally of hangovers and my inability to cope with them. The only thing that does seem to have changed is the fact that I’m surrounded by people the same age as me saving for houses, having children, getting engaged and just generally partaking in adult things (I don’t mean those adult things).
But, let’s get real. My bank account is too busy bracing itself for its next Topshop hit to even consider saving for a house and I can barely look after myself, so kids are 100% out of the question. But, should I be ashamed of this?*
*Another rhetorical question, but my short answer is no, I shouldn’t.
I am more than aware that people are always going to be at different stages in their lives – and that is completely fine. It’s when you’re made to feel like shit for not knowing what an ISA is or for spending all of your disposable income on Nando’s (just kidding, I don’t spend alllll of it on chicken) that I just won’t stand for.
I am 21. I don’t want to be tied down to a full-time job. I’m enjoying learning new things, studying a subject that I’d never even considered when I became an ‘adult’. I want to experience more, visit new places, meet new people. Life is too short to be stuck behind a desk at a job that you tolerate, find your dream job – something that makes you happy. A job where you’re not counting down to the weekend. If that takes you a couple more years to find then, so what?
When I’m old and grey, and watching re-runs of Homes Under The Hammer, I don’t want to be looking back on my early 20s as the time I was ‘stuck’ or tied down. I want to remember it as the time I tried new things, found my niche and did everything but ‘adult’.
So, apologies, but I don’t think I’ll be getting my shit together anytime soon.