Each and every year, on the final day before my birthday, my internal monologue postpones business as usual and gets stuck in an infuriating loop of: ‘this is the last time I’m going to [insert activity] as an [insert age] year-old’.
Today is my last day of being 27 and I just got back from the last run I will ever run as a 27-year-old and now I am wearing my last towel turban after my final shower as a 27-year-old, so I thought I should quickly write my last blog post as a 27-year-old before I turn 28 at the stroke of midnight and nothing whatsoever changes.
Lately I’ve stopped caring so much about my life-long problem of being a little bit too fat, so instead I’m channelling that negative capitalist energy into studying my body for signs of ageing. I’ve noticed more and more grey hairs, an ever-deepening crevice on my forehead and rapidly deteriorating eyesight. Luckily, these things don’t really matter (apart from the eye one). One good thing about being a bit older is that I’ve finally accepted that nobody cares what I look like and actually most people are nice and if they are thinking thoughts about me at all, which they’re most likely not, they’re probably nice thoughts. Even if they’re not nice thoughts, I’m never going to know what they are so I may as well believe what I want to believe.
It’s the idea of life being slowly eaten slice by slice like a big cake that terrifies me. Over a quarter of my cake has now been consumed and it’s only going to get smaller. And anyway, there’s no telling if it’s going to get knocked off the table by accident one day.
Wow. This is supposed to be a cheerful post as a send-off for 27-year-old me and I appear to be writing myself into a dark hole. I haven’t written here properly for a long time because I’m currently experiencing chronic creative block rendering me unable to write or paint – not that I’ve ever been a great painter, but I always thought I showed promise. My recent attempts have shown promise but only if I was six, or recovering from a stroke. Same with the writing really, although of course I still somehow manage to crank it out every day for work. After a while that kind of copywriting becomes pleasantly formulaic.
I’m not sure how I feel about neurotically counting the years down until we die. Birthdays are nice in principle – if you’re lucky you get given presents to unwrap, you get to eat cake and people even sing a special song for you with your name shoehorned into it. But we all have preconceptions about age. About what’s old, or what we should be doing when we are at a certain age. We measure ourselves against the number of years we’ve lived, as if the greater the number, the more accomplished and settled we should be.
Age creates expectations. I don’t really know what I expected from 27. It was the year I got married, but that hasn’t made me feel particularly different either. It’s worth noting that marriage is also a made up thing.
I suppose I should come to a natural conclusion now (it’s getting late and we haven’t made dinner yet).
To round things off in a generic Internetish fashion, here are 10 good things about being 28:
- It’s an even number
- It’s still twenties
- It still sounds young to anybody over 28
- I can still deflect child-related questions with answers like: ‘I’ve got loads of time before I need to think about that’
- It’s much better than being dead
- If I was a cat I would be nearly dead, but I am a human.
- It rhymes with lots of things, if I ever feel like writing a poem about it.
- It is old enough to have gravitas if I ever have to give a younger person advice.
- It is older than the age all the cool people like Jimmy Hendrix and Kurt Cobain died.
- It’s a lot less scary than being 30.
So there we go! Goodbye 27, thank you world for keeping me alive, thank you readers for thinking nice thoughts about me (I’ll assume). See you on the other side! x