Started from the bottom now we’re here

How does it feel to grow up? And how do I feel about growing up? Well, it feels pretty weird.

I’m a thinker, and if I am honest, I’m an over thinker. At any given opportunity I’ll dream up every possible situation, and when it comes to trying to think about growing up, well fuck me. There’s a lot there. I want to hold on to the things I have done, the people I have met and the places I have been, but in growing up and moving forward I want new experiences, I want to take risks, and live for me.

These days, ‘growing up’ for most people seems to be going through the motions, it’s all been decided what you should do already. Finish school, go to college, go to university and rack up 30 grands worth of debt, fall in love somehow (on Tinder? Not a chance), get married and start churning out kid after kid.

I’m 23, so you can’t really say that I am old and world-weary (yet). But 14-year-old me planned out my life and by this point I should have been married, travelling the world and in a few years’ time firing out some babies.

BUT I’M NOT AM I!? 14-YEAR-OLD LIZI DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE HOW THE WORLD WORKS.

Of course I’m not in Australia with a hunk on my arm and a diamond the size of a tennis ball on my finger. I’m in a cold Mancunian house with the noisy neighbours next door.

Am I really ready for the things I planned though?

University was never for me, of course I had massive FOMO especially when I saw my friends move away, make new friends, have ‘the time of their lives’ and all that, but for me getting smashed at shitty freshers events and attending like 4 lectures on a subject I have little to no interest in didn’t seem like the best use of thousands and thousands of pounds.

I did nearly have a fucking wobble when everyone from my school/college started posting their graduation photos with those daft fucking gowns. Why do parents love those bloody photos? For a moment I felt like I had let my family down, they wouldn’t get one of these soft focus fancy pictures to coo over and hang on their stairs so every visitor had to walk past it, and my Grandad didn’t have the chance to tell all his pals down the sailing club about my achievements – but that moment passed and I soon realised how great my family are and they are proud of me for so many other things.

Growing up is a messy struggle, a struggle that sometimes I enjoy, and sometimes I absolutely bloody hate. I swear I care far more now about the lines that seem to be appearing on my forehead than if I’m going to break out in spots, and it’s tragic. Most of the time I still feel young, then a younger, fitter and happier gal walk by and I go back to feeling like an old women again.

Most of my friends now have long term partners and/or babies (which I adore) and these past few years especially I’ve started to question if I am behind in life?

My best friend Ellie has a gorgeous little family and a fab fiancé. My cousin Shaunna is married and expecting a child. Most of my friends have amazing jobs, or are in love and flying off the high of life. And that’s when I question, am I behind?

I mean, I’m doing OK.

I haven’t soared to the top of my career like I hoped, I actually left the career I thought I’d be in for life to make a fresh start. I haven’t travelled the world with nothing but a bag and some floaty pants from a market in Thailand and I’m definitely not in love – I fucked all that off last year as well.

So really, have I grown up or did I fuck it somewhere along the way?

I still have a lot I hope to do, even though at the moment I’ve done none of those things. But I have accomplished a hell of a lot else, but it’s hard to see that when you’re bogged down in a 9-5 and then some skeez posts a picture of a beach on Instagram with ‘today’s office’. Frankly, they can get to fuck.

I’m genuinely happy for my friends whose lives have gone exactly according to plan, and really feel for those whose haven’t. And maybe every once in a while you need to indulge in a little ‘what if’.

What if I never left that job? What if I went to university? What if I wasn’t a total liberty? What if they were the one?

Maybe growing up is taking time to think of the what if’s, but then accepting them and moving on with things and learning from those experiences.

I know myself better than anybody else, and I know my personality and I’m sure that’s the same with everyone too.

Plans never happen with me, I jump first and then figure it out later. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t but I suppose that’s my own ‘norm’.

I hope if you are in the same situation as me, questioning whether you are ‘doing OK’ then let me be a little voice in your ear to remind you that you’re doing fucking fabulous. You’re doing life just how it was planned for you. But, always remember at the end of the day we’re all in this together, waiting for our picture perfect plan to come together.

Lizi XX