The Strange Things I Realised In My Late 20s

Eight years ago on my eighteenth.

Possibly the most bizarre and unexpected thing about hitting my 'late twenties' (which is the most peculiar sentence to type!) is oddly enough not my bizarre urge to buy rugs, sofas and prints. Nor is it my new found appreciation for throw pillows and candles, but rather how I keep being reminded of a me that feels like me but, at the same time, is also an entirely different version of me.

I hadn't really thought about it fully until I re-read some of my old blog posts and felt like I was reading something familiar but distant, it felt a little like a friend's anecdote from years ago and the first time I'd ever really recalled and remembered two versions of me. I spoke about it with some of my work friends and they'd also had the same feeling recently remembering two adult versions of themselves.

It's like 18 year old you, or even 22 year old you were different people entirely. Whether it's an old Facebook status that crops up, an old notebook or diary you stumble across whilst having a clear out it just doesn't feel like she was me.

After a decade filled with so, so many first's when 25 is over it can suddenly dawn that it's been a decade since so, so many things. It very well could be 10 years since your first kiss, first drink, first night out, first broken heart... the list goes on. First's are so pivotal and whilst with some groups of friends the memories remain it's a whole decade since you started to navigate the whole, rather daunting, world of adulthood.

It's so weird to no longer have ten year old memories that wholly revolve around summer holidays with family and sleepovers with pals (as they weirdly become twenty year old memories - gah!) and instead have memories of nights out, internships, jobs, events and driving.

All the fun and frivolous firsts seem to have come and gone leaving only the serious, life-altering firsts to loom rather intimidatingly.

I sometimes get a little overwhelmed by the milestones and first's yet to come - as you can probably tell - and probably once, or twice yearly (depending on who from school has just announced their engagement or pregnancy) lose hours delving into old photos and old diaries and notes in attempt to remember a previous me. Because sometimes I get a little scared that only jaded me existed and that 2007 Sarah-Rose is still 2017 Sarah-Rose - even if it's just in the smallest way.

A me that was yet to be disappointed, jaded and let down - personally and professionally. A me that was hopeful, sassy and silly. The older I get the more I become the 'oh that's so funny person' rather than the laughing until they cry person - a gal '07 Sare was as laughing till she cried was something she did too much.

It's weird because all of the memories are all there. Somewhere. Getting re-jigged and recalled slowly but surely by old songs, nostalgic fragrances or news. Often though I feel as though the memories are so water-downed now it's sometimes something that only I end up remembering and my pals have forgotten.

To say so much has happened in that year would be a major understatement. I lost one of my grandparents, fell in love, got a tattoo, moved away, went to university, moved home, moved in with a boy and an old friend and from one job to another as the opportunities arose. Most of my friends are still back at home and the people I see weekly are ones that I've known under a year or two.

There seem to be fewer and fewer ties that link and bind the old me to the new me which is why I think is the reason I'm often looking for assurances that I was ever that other person. A real gal that existed before the internet, before I cared about Instagram, before I even knew what a stylist was and well before I could afford to buy a full-price dress from Topshop.

I even once desperately tried to log back onto my neglected MySpace page out of curiosity of the old conversations and pictures I'd taken, who I'd picked for my top 4 then and the song I shared on my page. Nothing remained it turns out as they deleted everything bar your profile picture after a certain time - which could be quite a blessing.

It's not as though the current me is wishing to go back, it's more to remember who I was before so much 'adult-ing' happened. I don't really know why it's so important to me to remember and keep remembering but trying to maintain the connection to the naive young me seems to matter an awful lot. I think it's pretty human to think about you at previous times and places. In earlier moments and memories.

Whilst I'm now acclimatised to regular change and uncertainties it's as though I'm really reluctant to fully embrace the weird unknown that's ahead and am instead becoming fonder of times that in reality probably weren't as fond as I now think they were.

Time and life goes by at such an insane rate, with deaths and funerals sadly signposting so much of the future. I can't now remember the time I started paying into one of my three pensions (don't ask...) and that feels weird as I don't feel like I've become a person who should be contemplating pensions yet. And still it doesn't feel like I've really said goodbye to the gal who used to buy Vodkat and own brand diet lemonade on a weekend, dancing and gossiping the whole night away in a borrowed dress and kissing silly boys that'd never quite be the right match.

It's as though you don't realise the you that you were until you're looking back at her in pictures of her and vaguely recalling who you were at that time. Never quite getting the chance to enjoy, acknowledge and appreciate the you then.

With Instagram and social media so prevalent now everything's so posed, calculated and planned the times when you were captured fleetingly on disposable cameras seem so, so long gone. Along with the free-r you.

Overall, although I'm not very sure none of these rambling's really make much sense, I think it's pretty human and normal to want to hold onto the old versions of you whilst also to cherish and mourn aspects of who you were at certain points. In the same way that it's lovely to forget you at certain points (12/3 year old me was just not a me I'm keen to be reminded of).

To appreciate and know both the old you and the current you. That's the goal.



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