I had to scroll a long way down on Facebook to find my 20's #sadfaceemoticon
This week the Guardian have been doing a series called "How I survived my 20's" in which they have asked other writers to write about their experience of being in their 20's. Which seems as good a place as any to start this weeks blog post that I should have posted at lunchtime but started writing at 2pm.
Late, that is probably the theme of my 20's, late and following a path already trodden. My 20's were book-ended by two breakdowns. The first was reactionary to a whole plethora of shit events and toiled up with teenage angst and a lot of anger. The kind of anger you can only feel when you've got youth on your side. In fact, I am jealous of 20 year old, angry and depressed Hannah. Rage like that can only come when the most you have to worry about is that NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME. No they don't Hannah because they are too busy trying to understand themselves and pay the bills, put food on the table, navigate heartbreak, house sales, deaths, births, horrible bosses, unemployment, naughty children etc.
What a luxury it is to be 20, although this is quickly followed by the realisation that in the words of Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone "This is it, don't get scared now." You are from here on in, forever, until sweet death comes and takes you, on your own and like Macaulay himself tried to warn you, it might start out as fun and exciting to be FREEEEEEEEEE! But soon, before you know it, you'll be protecting your house from burglars (landlords) and wishing your parents would just come back now (pay your rent). Literally, who knew that Home Alone was a metaphor for growing up? Who knew? John Hughes you fecking genius you: next week we look at why Uncle Buck is really a lesson in why you should always just be the Uncle, not the parent.
As your 20's draw to a close and you realise that yes, you've drank a lot and had a lot of 5am-might-as-well-go-straight-to-work-from-the-club days, you've met some brilliant people, you've lost some brilliant people and you actually looked way better than you realised the whole bloody time, you probably should have worn hot pants every day; you're still not entirely sure 'who' you are, 'why' you are or 'how' you are. So you just go ahead and have another break down, but this time that lovely sweet rage is replaced with endless tears, blank stares and a crippling lethargy similar to that you felt when you had Glandular Fever, which SPOILER ALERT, is not actually caused by kissing. I got my little bout of Glandular fun just from living in the same house as a blonde northerner. Other things I got from living in the same house as a blonde northerner was a love for Cliff Richard calendars, red wine, cheese and swearing.
Before you know it you wake up with a hangover on your 29th birthday, single (again), still temping as a receptionist whilst pulling pints four nights a week, still not a Hollywood star / writer / events manager / peace keeping envoy / insert whatever achievement you haven't yet reached and that all that fun hasn't actually got you much further than where you started. But fucking hell it was fun wasn't it? But still, eggs are drying up (watch Uncle Buck - you don't need kids, just niece and nephews), exes are getting married or starting their own companies which they go on to sell for literally hundreds of pounds so they can be a fucking politician (some of that is true) or just walking away from you to go and be the same as they were before you, because that is a better prospect than being the same as they were with you.
This is the moment where the twinkly music comes in and your Mum comes through the front door shouting "Kevin! Kevin!" just in time for Christmas day. Except, it isn't. It's the moment you stare 30 in the face and you cry like a baby because you know you need to get all this "WHY ME, WHY ALWAYS ME?" out before the real work that is your 30's begins. You can already sense that over that decade pay wall is the career you always wanted and a life you haven't been imaginative enough to envisage in your 20's because you were too busy doing shots and going to uni and following everyone else's path but your own. This is your moment; so have a break down and then bloody well get on with it.
Oh and stop being late.
But seriously though, can I have an extension on my deadline because my cat just ate my homework...
WHY ME? WHY ALWAYS ME?