Shit I thought I would have sorted out by now

Despite the fact I got ID’d for buying Paracetamol the other day (still not as bad as the time I got ID’d for buying party poppers, eh?), I am in fact turning the dreaded 2 5 in less than two weeks. Unsurprisingly, I have succumbed recently to that new, middle class phenomenon, the quarter life crisis, and as such am unenthusiastic about the upcoming anniversary of my birth.

Like many others of my generation, 25 was one of those vague milestone ages that you could put things off until. So you can imagine my dismay now that it’s lurking around the corner and the perfect version of me appears to be late for her grand appearance.

In recognition of my stupendous failings to live up to my own expectations so far, because laughing about it is really better than sobbing, here is a list of shit I thought I would have sorted out by now.

Money, money, money

Seriously, my bank sent me a letter the other day recommending I get a credit card. I skim read it in confusion, vaguely made a mental note to google some terms I didn’t understand and then tossed it on the Pile of Things I Will Deal With This Decade in my room.

The only reason I have an ISA is because I’m mildly deaf, not through any money-savvy plotting on my part. I was once paying something in at the bank, couldn’t really hear what the cashier was saying, politely nodded yes to a phrase she was saying of which I could only hear “do you want to earn more interest” and then found myself whisked off into a room and before I knew it I had an ISA. (I was 19 at the time by the way and the bank manager asked me if I was sure I was over 16, FFS).

I have a job and I’m still wildly relieved any time my parents give me money. My poor parents, they put all that money into my education and upon finding out I’d gotten into Cambridge probably rubbed their hands in glee at the idea that I would become super wealthy and be paying for them to go on holiday for the rest of their lives. Oh how wrong they were. Not only did I choose to become a journalist living in London where the cost of renting a hovel would buy me a castle anywhere else in the UK, there is also this tiny thing called a recession going on.

What makes this all even more embarrassing is that finance is one of the topics I cover in my job. I can happily talk to you about the pros and cons of the opco-propco model for companies and have a vague understanding of how bonds work and yet I’m too scared to get a credit card. And as for a mortgage. Ha, I’m probably not going to get on the housing ladder this side of 50 let alone 25.


Being a lady

Some women look like they glide through life on a cloud of Chanel No.5 perfume, Hermès scarves and Jackie O sunglasses. You know, those ladies who’s lives appear to be a whirl of parties, look composed and elegant at networking events and clearly have a beauty regime that involves regular spa pampering, hot yoga at 5am every morning and a diet of green tea and sunflower seeds?

Me – I’m the kind of girl that spills nail varnish on my skirt before a networking event and is far too familiar with the Domino’s menu. Oh and treated the residents of Tottenham all trudging towards the tube to a colourful array of language one morning as I suddenly remembered I had a lunch meeting that I was not appropriately attired for.

Also, those beauty sections of magazines still leave me in a massive panic. As a teenager I used to agonise over the mountain-load of beauty advice that would ensure I looked fabulous. I was plagued by questions such as – did I need to buy every product in the Clean & Clear gazillion step guide to ensure non-spotty skin or could I get away with just one or two? Or, which actually was the better lip gloss brand, Glamour and Company magazine have contradicted themselves within the same issue. I used to plot in obsessive detail what I needed to track down in Superdrug next time my parents gave me a lift into town.

But I thought I would have this down pat by now though – I would have a tried and tested beauty regime and feel all confident in my skin and look flawless. Ha. What a joke. The harsh lighting in Boots and Superdrug still leaves me cold and I have so many hardly-used bottles of beauty stuff gathering dust because I’m a) lazy and b) shit at applying make-up, it’s quicker to clean the rest of my house than my room.

Understanding men

I spent my teenage years dismissive of boys and longing for the day when they would grow up and turn into Prince Charming. Still waiting.

The male creature is still as much of a mystery to me now as they were ten years ago. And to boot, other people from my generation appear to have been able to suss them out and are getting engaged and married. What’s all that about?! I’ve yet to spot my Mr Darcy emerging from a lake in a sexy white shirt. (I mean I couldn’t even find the giant Mr Darcy model that was in the Serpentine last year, despite walking around that lake twice – bad omen or what?).

And to boot, the internet has made dating even more perilous. At 15 my friends and I thought people who used the then intrepid world of online dating were losers and that we would totally have found The One by now. I’m nearly 25 and I have had profiles on Ok Cupid, Match.com and Tinder. I’m such an old hand at online dating I am scarcely perturbed by profile pictures of just someone’s grey boxer clad crotch or chat up lines such as “would you mind if I got turned on by you crushing bugs as long as you knew I was going to give you the best sex of your life?” (Men – why? Why? No sane woman is going to reply to you!)Wow, Disney should make a movie about my life. Not.

Oh god I’ve just remembered writing a bestselling novel that would be turned into an Oscar winning movie was totally on my life plan by now. Oops…

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