Nobody likes you when you’re 23. It’s a universal phenomenon first coined by Blink-182 that only begins to resonate once you actually approach the big 2-3. Some people you went to school with are married and having babies. Some of them don’t know how to make beans on toast. Existential dread accompanies you to every social event. But being 23 also comes with a sense of maturity, largely brought on by the negative correlation between your age and the number of tosses you give. Now I’m “grown up”ish, I don’t mind doing a ton of stuff that used to scare me.
Being Miss Independent
I used to hate doing anything on my own. Eating, flying, even walking round the city gave me the fear. Now, I often prefer it. There’s a sense of calmness that comes with having full responsibility over your day. The saying “if you want something doing right, do it yourself” becomes truer and truer every year I live.
Looking ‘ugly’ in public
At uni I would go to campus every day in a full face of make up. Now I feel extra if I wear eyeshadow. The older I get, the less I care about looking good in public. I go to the gym makeupless and feel perfectly happy walking home afterwards covered in sweat with my hair in a Miss Trunchbull bun. This also applies for body insecurities I used to have. Cellulite, stretch marks, acne, rogue hairs, dry skin, HIP DIPS… I welcome them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Going home early
Who is FOMO? I don’t know her. As a teenager – and really until the last year – I always HAD to be the last one at the party. I’d stay out past the point of having fun. I’d go out on a random Wednesday with a friend of a friend and get plastered on value vodka because I was “living my best life hun”. Now I literally do not care if I go home early – I very often make a French exit and get in a taxi before anyone can ask where I’m going. Occasionally I’m happy to stay up late, but 99% of the time I’ve accepted that nothing good happens after 1am, and the best part of a night out is getting food after. (Extra bonus points if you convince a friend to leave with you so you can drink wine at home and sing 2000s anthems on your sofa).
Getting nude in public
As a self conscious teenager, I would never dream of getting changed in front of my friends. I had to take my top off at the doctors for an ECG when I was 15 and I genuinely thought it was the worst day of my life #cringe #endoftheworld #groundswallowmeup. I also wore a t-shirt at the beach because I was embarrassed of my itty bitty titties (and a rogue freckle on my leg that I thought THE END OF THE WORLD). Now I go full-on-fan-out in the gym changing rooms, get my housemates to tan me while fully nude, and have no problem sitting at the beach in a bikini. I’ve also come to terms with the freckle, which has since become #ontrend.
RIP to the girl I used to be, when I would stress out if anyone didn’t like me. I could not deal with being disliked, to the point that I would let people walk all over me just to be in their favour. Once I accepted that everyone is not going to like me, I became a lot more relaxed and confident. My mum used to say “people are only mean because they’re jealous of you” and SHE IS RIGHT.
Thanks for reading and being a real hun! x