The Thursday I turned 25 and liked it

I started off planning to blog about woman-focused pornography and then remembered that the day this post is meant for will be my birthday. In fact, if the postman hadn’t just dropped off a package that I’m “not allowed to open” I probably would have forgotten altogether. So, uh, yeah, we’ll leave the porn for another day.

Obviously, the actual writing has happened beforehand. Sadly, this is not because I’ll be spending the day lying in a bath of maraschino cherries and cream (wait a minute, that sounds sticky and not fun, anyway). Instead I’ll be busy finishing off helping with a law book thing. It’s a rather grown-up way to spend a birthday, wouldn’t you agree?

Being born in April has usually meant that I’ve had the luxury of birthdaying in the Easter holidays. Of course this means little when you’re no longer in school but at twenty-five I’ve yet to have a birthday when I was confined to a desk for a nine to five.

The upside of having time flexibility has meant that I’ve been able to make a fuss of it myself, shopping or painting my nails. The downside has been that time has allowed me too much space to over-think things and fall into the birthday-slump that so many of us do.

Why are we so depressed that another year has passed? Often I’ve felt that I wasn’t where I’d planned to be by now or that I’d wasted those 365 days. I know this might seem ridiculous given my age but everyone can look back and wish they’d put more effort into something.

In the past I’ve wished I’d studied harder and thought more carefully about what to study. Last year, I was happy with the career I was about to embark on but wished I’d been more disciplined at keeping the bonds strong with my family.

This year, I probably wish I was further along in my career or was sure about what I’m doing but I’m actually not too fussed. There are bigger, more immediate things on the brain. And I like being 25.

I think I’m cool with where I am because having a baby at this stage in my life always sort of made sense to me. We base a lot of our assumptions about the world on the reality our parents demonstrate and because my mum had me at 25, I probably always saw that as a good age to have a baby. This wasn’t a conscious decision but the idea was there.

By outsiders’ standards, it probably wasn’t a good time for my parents to start a family either. They weren’t financially secure and, in fact, my mum had to start a small sewing business from home to help make ends meet. I learned all sorts of thrifty tricks from seeing her do whatever she could out of necessity. Little did she know, her habits would later become fashionable. Not the hand washing nappies though, mum. That was hardcore.

For once, I’m neither overly excited nor dejected by the coming of my birthday. I’m simply content, grateful and looking forward to someone else’s birthday, oh, some time round the end of May or beginning of June.

Little one, may you be better at birthdays than your silly mummy.


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