When I was 5 I was constantly dressed up. I loved sequins, playing, mermaids, fairies, and unicorns. 25 wasn’t even a number I could comprehend. It was old.
When I was 8 I was still interested in all those things, and still dressed up. I loved my dolls and I couldn’t wait till they were real life babies. By the time I was 25 I would surely have a great big family.
When I was 12 I knew I was going to be a famous fashion designer. By the time I was 25 I would have an international business, with celebrities flocking to my feet. I would have my London town house, husband, and collection of vintage cars. I had loads of time till I was 25.
When I was 15 I had found the boy I was going to marry. No one could’ve been more in love than us. I couldn’t wait to be proposed to on my 18th birthday (probably in Paris). I wasn’t so sure what I wanted with life any more. Should I study the sciences and get a job that helped people? I had an on-going war with my body. But I would be thin by the time I was 25 right? Thin, married, and with our family of 4. I couldn’t wait for 25.
When I was 18 I realised that boys break your heart. That time is the only thing that can really do any healing, and that I was never going to fit in. High school had been difficult, I was a round peg in a square hole, and after a year of 6th form I had dropped out. I still wasn’t any closer to being thin, and I wasn’t going to be proposed to up the Eiffel tower. I realised that I had a talent, and that I wanted to be a fashion student. There was still time to get my life sorted by 25, right?
When I was 21 I realised that I had more friends than most. I realised yet again that boys break your heart. I realised this more than once. I also found that although I was always sewing, I could do it much better than most. I realised that I was disciplined and that I had found what I wanted to do, not only this, it could help people. I figured that getting a first class degree and heaps of experience would land me a job in a Hollywood blockbuster in no time. I still wanted the house, the family, and the vintage cars. But I was having a string of failed dates, and driving tests. 25 was creeping up, everything seemed pushed for time.
Now I’m only a few days away from 25 and I realise that at every stage of our lives we think we know everything, in fact, we know only the tiniest snapshot. But it’s so important for us not to patronise those younger than us, and so important not to crush their dreams. The feelings you have for your first love are probably some of the most intense you will ever have, and the feeling that anything is possible should be nurtured and not shot down. Just before turning 25 I realise that those heartbreaks I had, were actually sign posts for stopping me getting in too deep with the wrong person. I realise that I like drinking, dancing, and building on my own dreams far too much to be able to support a little version of myself just yet. I passed my driving test, and I have set up a company single handedly. I still have more close friendships and relationships than most people I know, a pretty good sign that I’m turning out to be the person I hoped. I realise I am still not thin, but that as a teenager I was obsessed with how large my very slim body was. My whole perception was warped. I realise that body love is something I feel so passionately about, and that this is something I can actively help others with.
I feel as though you hit a certain point in your life where people are no longer on the same page. Some are married, some do have families, mortgages (and maybe vintage cars), but the most detrimental thing we can do is compare ourselves to others. With the internet and Facebook, we see what others are doing, and forget what we have done ourselves. Having goals in life is crucial, but setting markers on an unrealistic time scale is ridiculous. Just do you.
So happy 25th birthday to me, the girl who still loves sequins, mermaids and unicorns; but is currently a bit busy building up her own company ♥