Last week I turned 27. It was a strange experience.
Now don’t worry, I’m not going to kid myself that I’m old, nor risk the ire of those who actually are by complaining about being so. But I realised that 27 is an odd point in life as you are most definitely not the youngest any more, but you’ve not yet moved into that ‘accomplished’ section of your life that you plan on hitting in your early-mid-thirties. You live in this unsettling, hard-to-pin-down area of life where friends of yours who may be two or three years younger than you are still living at home and, as far as you can tell, have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other in a dependable fashion; while friends you have who are maybe recently 30 are purchasing £1300 engagement rings for their boyfriend of seven years… and buying a spare, just in case the first one wasn’t approved of.
At 27, you’re no longer the bumming-about, sleeping-in-past-noon, unemployed lump of friviolity that you used to be. You have a job (or more than one) and have perhaps even surprised youself in that you’ve held it down for several years. But you’ve not neccessarily gotten that first major promotion yet, or moved into the world of corporate credit cards, mortgages or designer suits.
You’ve not yet matured, but you’re no longer immature. You can see the points of your face that are going to start upsetting you as you get older. You can see where you hairline is going to receed, or where your first few crows-feet are going to form round your eyes. You’re aware that the potential zenith of your physical beauty was probably sometime last week, and you missed the chance to make the most of it. You’ve started to understand and be pained by what aging actually is, while at the same time you’ve not yet been rewarded by the benefits of station and salary that aging will later bring.
You start to feel like you’re freewheeling slightly.
What doesn’t help is that you look around and you can’t completely convince yourself that everyone else is in the same boat. Oh, you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that every new popster to come along now will be younger than you, but that’s not the problem. What is a problem is that now, you occasionally catch glance of some 25-year-old who’s been in the right place at the right time, right out of university and has hit the ground running into some high-powered, well paying dream job.
You try not to wish ill on this undeserving, upstart whelp, but only half-heartedly, and you don’t really feel any shame in smiling when you hear that they and their latest paramour broke up in some sort of painful fashion. They’ve got a lot to learn about love, after all, they’re only 25; it would be unfair to expect them to have mastered something as complex as social interaction.
At least I managed marriage at the tender young age of 24. That’s because I’m a winner. And lovable. Conversely enough though, I now look at 24-year-olds getting married as being far too young.
The long and the short of it, though, is that you realise you’re going to have to start really working for the things you want.
So that leads to the mission statement I’ve decided to give myself, an experiment in life, if you like; To see what can be accomplished with this odd, something-in-the-middle year that I’ve been dragged, kicking and screaming by Father-Time into. I might not be the youngest anymore, so I may as well be the awesomest.
So join in, follow me, let’s see what happens. I just turned 27. Anything could happen…