Time Out?

Posted by Judy Johnson On Monday, 24 January 2011 00:11
So. I am freaking out a little that I am 25. Twenty five. Twenty. Five. I have no idea where the last five years went, and I would quite like to have them back so I can do things differently. I know that's not productive, but if I'm already regretting the past half decade, what on earth will I be feeling in five measly years' time when I am thirty and looking back at my twenties? That is what is keeping me awake at night... literally, since I am starting to write this at 2:21am. I'm so worried that in five years I will be saying the same thing, that now the pressure is well and truly on for me to do something about it.

Last weekend I watched three films - ah, the benefits of being single - Step Up 3, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and Sex and the City 2. Random choices, simply because they all showed up from Amazon and I can never wait to play with something new for long. Firstly, I did them in the wrong order, since SATC2 with all its heartbreak and crying and borderline racism depressed me just in time for bed (and blogging). Secondly, they all got me thinking, which is both good and bad.

Step Up 3 started me off on a good motivational foot, reminding me (apparently I need reminding) that I love dancing, exercise can make you feel good and I need to stop sitting on the sofa watching films and get up and move. Seeing as this is part of my new year get-me-healthy plan too, I looked into some dance classes, found a gem of a dance deal on Wahanda (where else?) and managed to rope in a couple of brilliant friends to come with me. It may not be booked yet, but it will happen. Streetdance here I come. The only bad thing about this is that I reckon in another life somewhere I am someone who has been dancing since they could walk, knew how happy it made them and chose it for life (and probably has a better figure too). I kind of wish I had done that - it would have made a good hobby, also a new year's resolution. But this will have to do, because it's a bit late for that...

Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a brilliantly, hilariously perfect film, and if you haven't seen it then I suggest you get the girls around and watch it pronto. It is, obviously, about their ten year high school reunion and how they haven't achieved all that much since school, so they make it all up and go to try and show off. The problem with this, despite the tear-inducing comedy, is that it got me thinking about the past ten years of my life.  Uhoh.

Next year it will be ten years since I left school, which, along with the big two five and the fact that it's flown by, is absolutely terrifying. When I was younger, 25 seemed far far away; it was a year by which I would have got the job I always dreamed of, settled down with someone, bought a flat, maybe even got a ring on my finger or at least the potential for one. Probably a couple of cats in there too. As you grow up, 'that age' at which you think milestones might happen gets a little older as you realise how time has a habit of speeding up, but I didn't think I would get here and have absolutely none of the above.

It's quite earth-shattering to think that even if I move that age to 30, that only gives me five teeny tiny years to get there, and I wouldn't even know where to start. I'm not saying you have to have these things by this age or else you're a failure - we all know that people are getting married, having children later in life these days and the housing ladder is near impossible to find let alone get on; but I can't help remembering 12-year-old-me and her grand ideas of having her life sorted by the age of 26 - and I feel a little guilty that I didn't make it happen. It doesn't help that most of the people around me have managed it, sisters included (not all of the above but the ring-on-finger at least).


Which leads on to the Sex and the City 2 effect. Apart from thinking 'who the hell wrote this script?', Carrie's marriage problems combined with the slightly sickening but wonderful love between her and Big gave me the blues, just what you want before you slip off into your dreams. But I didn't know whether this was the blues because I am single and nowhere near that marriage ideal, despite many of my friends being well and truly at that stop; or whether it was because I really don't want all that messy relationship stuff (they are quite hostile and argumentative in the sequel... and in the original, come to think about it). Being single is great because I don't have to have those horrid arguments, the ones that turn your stomach and make you want to throw your phone across the room... but it's also rubbish because you don't get that 'I got you a black diamond because I know you so well' feeling, ever. Sigh. There is of course a happy ending, but that just left me wondering whether I would get one of those or whether I was going to be a Samantha (with less naughtiness, ahem) forever.

Never before has 'so much to do, so little time' been such a problem, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. Is it good to have plans, or do they just make us feel inadequate when they don't work out?
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4 Response to " Time Out? "

  1. Sex and the City 2 was a godawful film... I honestly don't know how anyone could release it without feeling a bit embarrassed. And I've never understood Carrie and Big's relationship - there is always so much tension between the two of them, and everything is always so "difficult". They never seem to just relax and have a laugh together. Pfft!

    Man, 25 still sounds young to me! I know everyone's probably telling you, but you have nothing to worry about!

    Anyway, you can't plan love... the right guy just hasn't come along yet. It's much better to be single than to be stuck with a so-so boyfriend, or worse, get married early and realise soon after that he wasn't "the One" after all. Getting into a relationship when you're older and wiser and you know what you want is so much easier, with less heartbreak!

    And you shouldn't feel like you should own your own place by now... in this market you're probably financially better off renting. Owning a house means you're bogged down with all the life admin that comes with it - just the boiler breaking down would cost you £4k out of the blue, and being tied to a physical place means you can't just pack up your bags and go if you decide you want to live elsewhere.

    What other things did you want to do before the age of 25? You can still do them!

    When I read the title of this post, I thought you were going to say you were taking some time out... and I thought "good on you!", but then I realised you didn't mean that at all. Seriously, you should think about really taking some time out... even for just a month. Go travelling alone or do a course you've always wanted to do. Just do something that is a complete change from your day-to-day life, something that stretches you. You'll be surprised at how it gives you an entirely new perspective on life and broadens your circle of friends. I know, because I do it all the time when I feel like I'm in a rut and always feel so much more refreshed and energised afterwards, and stuff that was stressing me out before ends up seeming so irrelevant to "life" in hindsight.

    Hope you feel better when you wake up!

     

  2. Judy Said,

    Thanks Helen, I always enjoy reading your comments!

    When I read this back I realised it sounded very relationship-based but there is a lot more to it - funny, because the main thing I would have hoped to do by now is to have some time out and to have travelled a bit. Travelling has always been top of my list but it always has to get pushed to the bottom because of money. I'd love to take a month out but I don't think I could afford to, with expensive London rents and obviously not wanting to lose my job... even without being tied down to anything I feel quite tied down!

    Thanks for not e-slapping me for being ridiculous! I know when I am 30 I will look back at this, laugh at myself and think I should have got a grip because 25 will then seem young. I know I haven't run out of time just yet but it sometimes feels like I don't have enough time anymore to do all of those things. Maybe I just need to throw the plan out the window!

     

  3. Great post, I like your writing style and that you 're very open :) x

     

  4. I've been meaning to comment on this for AGES. What I wanted to say is this...

    "Oh sweetheart. I wish you could appreciate being 25 for the great age that it is! You're supposed to have fun in your 20's. You're suppose to have experiences and take advantage of being experimental and if things don't work out - who cares, you're still in your 20s!

    Please, please, purleeze, I beg you - do all you want to do now. Anything you've considered doing but was scared to? Do it anyway. Try things out, travel, be adventurous. Life is too short! I stress about being 34 and not having what I feel I should have at this age. But one thing I wish, is that I did more in my 20's. That I was more reckless in my 20's. Thing is, I can't turn back the clock. But you're there, you're there right now. Have fun with it!"

    x

     

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