So almost a month ago I turned 25. The big 2-5, the quarter century, the- who cares? I was actually looking forward to it - whilst no-one needs to be reminded of their inevitable slow creep towards mortality, I wasn't clawing onto the final months, weeks, days of being 24. 25 sounded better than 24; almost how I imagine new brides feel about changing from 'Miss' to 'Mrs'. It just felt good. Who cares if I'm halfway to 50? And I'm a much better person than I was at 18.
I remember talking to a friend on the eve of his 25th and he was saying how, when he was younger, he'd imagined being married by now with a kid or at least one on the way. Having been a fully functioning adult (and musician) life got in the way and he said he couldn't imagine being that settled whilst still feeling so young. Five years later, he's still wife and child-free so I guess not much has changed.
As far as I can remember, I wasn't like that. I don't think I dreamed of frothy white wedding dresses, babies on my hip and a husband by 25 when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time writing stories about hamsters, chasing after my horse and feeling disbelief when a family friend was old enough to graduate university. Being 25, of course, felt like the dim and distant future.
Having said that, now that I am the age where friends and (whisper it) people on Facebook are getting married, I do catch myself thinking about said dresses, cakes and honeymoons. Which would be all well and good, of course, but seeing as there is no mister in the picture, I'm not going to get much further than mutating into Miss Havisham.
But I'm loving being 25. A little like New Year, I feel that people put a lot of stock in 'new starts' or fresh changes on or after their birthday so I tried not to hold out too much hope that I'd transform myself into this perfect being come the quarter century. But, unwittingly and perhaps subconsciously, I've changed nevertheless. For the first time in about seven years (other than a mad moment involving a box of Schrwarzkopf's brightest shade), I've changed my hair and I feel good about it, you know? I'd always stayed away from shorter locks citing how it made me feel less feminine but I'm loving having a choppy, cooler style that is a cinch to style in the mornings and which could be argued that looking like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards is part of its charm. I've also peeled myself way from tights and been baring my legs - no big deal, right? For someone who's as pale as porcelain, this is the first year ever (other than on holiday) that I've braved blinding people and flounced around au naturale.
What else? I bought trainers. I don't like trainers. I also don't wear flat shoes. But I joined the gym and one can't work out in wedges so a pair of Nikes have now entered my life and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. You won't catch me wearing them anywhere other than on the treadmill but it's a step in the right direction nonetheless.
Essentially, turning 25 was almost like flicking a switch. Almost overnight, I've become the type of person I used to envy - the one with the devil may care attitude, the one who says yes and the one whose self-consciousness doesn't cripple her. I'm not sure why it's taken quite so long but I'm not complaining, shedding the skin of 24 was pretty cathartic after all. Here's to the rest of the century.