(Firstly, if you read the title of this post, then I send my sincerest apologies for the next 24 hours of your life where all you'll hear is Taylor Swift singing in your brain. Sorry.)
This year, I turned 22.
For those of you that haven't got there yet, then please, enjoy your 21st because I think we can all agree that that's the last time someone gives a shit about your birthday. Don't get me wrong, my Mum turned up with a cake (bless her soul) and I got some pretty awesome presents (a kitchen bin and a pepper mill), but I'm kind of sad that birthday's will probably no longer be a "thing" anymore.
I want to unwrap HEAPS of cool toys and eat jelly and ice cream.
On the other hand, I do get a bit of an "I'm wise and know a lot about the world" look about me when I tell someone I'm "in my twenties". (I know you've all been there too).
So I thought I'd take some time to have a think about what's coming up: the things I have to look forward to for the next decade, and the things that have already happened as a part of 'growing up'.
1. Losing friends
It's inevitable that best friends will come and go. My closest girl from school and I were unbreakable, until I moved away for uni. My best friend from uni started acting weird in third year when I moved in with my boyfriend. My best friend NOW is my Mum.
No matter how much you love your friends, life gets busy, and you drift apart, and you cancel lunches and they get pissed off. Then you realise that perhaps your best friends aren't the ones you spent every second of your day with when you were fifteen, but the ones that you see rarely and yet it feels like you've never been apart. The ones you can have the WEIRDEST conversation about haemorrhoids with and yet not feel weird at all (I'm looking at you, Coop!).
12. Spend time with your family
I love my family. They're some of the funniest, most ridiculous characters I've ever known. My Mum would do anything for anyone and doesn't get a fraction of the credit she deserves for it. My Dad is a local legend in pretty much the whole of the East Midlands and you can't take him anywhere without him recognising SOMEONE he knows. And I'm lucky enough to say that I've never argued with either of my two amazing sisters. (Well, once Laurie threw a hair brush at my head and made it bleed but she bought me some scented gel pens which more than made up for it).
When you hit your twenties, you'll realise that family means everything. Now I'm with Rob, I have another set of parents and another brother that I can also make amazing memories with. And I can honestly say that, when Christmas rolls around, I look forward to spending time with my family more than I look forward to opening presents. Shit, I'm old.
3. Fall in LOVVVVVEEEE
Although I'm not suggesting that every woman in her twenties should be planning babies and marriage, it's definitely something that crosses your mind a lot more frequently at this age.
I'm lucky enough to have found the man of my dreams, who will one day be my hubby. I'm also pretty certain we'll make some small people at some point too, but only when we're ready.
I feel like too many women hit a certain age and get pressured left, right and centre to start reproducing. Your twenties is a time to recognise where your opinions stand on marriage and kids, but by no means do you need to force them upon yourself. Do whatever makes you happy. If you fall in love 5 times in the same evening over drinks at Revolution then so be it!
4. Buy the handbag
It makes me a little bit sad to think that, if I counted up all the money I've spent in Morrisons the past couple of months, then I could have bought myself a Mulberry Bayswater.
Okay, girl gotta eat, but girl would be much happier and content to be hungry with a designer bag. If you've got the money, and you want the bag, then BUY THE BLOODY BAG! Life is way too short to be over-sensible with money. Of course, you should always keep on top of your finances (debt is not cool, neither are credit cards), but it's also okay to treat yourself once or five times in a while.
5. Look after your body
Trust me, I long for the days where I could inhale an entire bag of smiley faces and not have to worry about the calories, but I can't even begin to express how important it is to look after your body. Cleanse, tone, moisturise, floss your teeth, eat your five a day, go for a run. Do whatever you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And if you're having "one of those days" where you really can't be arsed, then just remember that there are only 56 calories in a gin and slimline tonic. You're welcome.
6. Print off photos!
I'm so bad for doing this - I have a million photos of holidays, parties, uni gatherings and generally amazing times and they're all on Facebook. Imagine if one day Facebook decided to not exist anymore? How many of your memories would be lost forever?
Terrible thought. Get on over to a Kodak photo kiosk and print the buggers off!
7. Love yourself
A majority of girls I know own a Pinterest or Instagram account and they follow girls like Jen Selter or some insanely fabulous fashion bloggers with the most ludicrous lifestyles. It's hard NOT to compare yourself to other women. But WHY do we do it to ourselves?!
There's only one of you in this big world, so be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.