Being 24

Your body exists purely for the pleasure of men or the criticism of females. Be pleasantly plump in all the right places in order to please the men in your life, but appropriately slender elsewhere so as not to be excluded from all the latest unforgiving fashions you must adopt in order to be deemed stylish.

Oh, and abs are now essential thanks to the new craze for all things fitness. But you mustn't get too muscular of course. We wouldn't want you to 'look like a man.'

Be adequately well shod so as not to elicit displeased remarks from your mother or disparaging glances from your boss, and yet not too snobby for Primark. Let's face it, your wallet is more Primark than Louboutin anyway, and nothing is worse than friends saying 'so how exactly can you afford that?'

Your cupboard should be full of weird health fads and superfoods like chia seeds, coconut oil, quinoa and kale. But don't dare let your healthy lifestyle prevent you from checking out the newest burger joint, nor from washing down those curly fries topped with mac 'n' cheese with a craft beer or gallons of red wine. Your quest for that perfect body shall not interfere with your social life! You must have both!

Be sufficiently well read to understand any oblique references to Dickens or Austen or Shakespeare over dinner, but also indulge in celebrity culture and reality TV so as not to be left out in lunch break conversations.

Meditate, practice yoga, be mindful, enjoy the great outdoors and get up at sunrise to go for a hike followed by a green juice and some artfully presented fruit, which you'll instagram, of course. But also make sure you go out until sunrise, dancing in a packed, sweaty, dark room to music so good you feel like you're having some kind of heavenly, out of body experience, worshipping at the altar of house/techno/jazz/folk/whatever's your poison. But get the balance right. Too much of the former, you're lame, too much of the latter, you're wild and out of control and need to calm down and grow up.

Find time for all of the above. Alongside your full time job (which you love, of course), you easily find the time to exercise 6 times a week, cook wonderfully healthy dishes from scratch every night, read the news, watch the latest hit TV show, meet up with your friends, read a book, go out for dinner, go out for drinks, keep in touch with your parents and those far away, get ridiculously drunk and spend all night out dancing, go shopping and keep your wardrobe relevant, have a savings account with actual money in it, meditate, cultivate your interest in that thing that you're interested in, nurture your relationship and prioritise date nights, spend your evenings dating eligible or otherwise bachelors, have hilarious weekends away with your friends, romantic trips away with your other half, and remember to visit your Granny.

If you can do all this whilst maintaining your sanity, then I think you deserve some kind of medal.

I feel the pressure to do everything and be everything to everyone quite keenly and it's been stressing me out lately and making me not very fun to be around. It's easy to let pressures get to you, to feel like you have to be the perfect friend, employee, daughter, girlfriend and have a perfect body, diet, social life, bank account, wardrobe..... But most of these perceived pressures are created internally, not externally, and that's the bit that I have to try to remember. 

I need to remember to relax and let go sometimes.

Because, really, it's pretty bloody good being 24.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED this. This rang so true in many ways- I feel like there is so much social pressure on us to be so many different things at the same time that I'm finding it hard to keep up! this was music to my ears- and glad to know I'm not the only one who feels that way. xxxx