Monday, 19 June 2017


Lately I've been feeling old. I don't know why. Despite the protestations that I'm being paranoid and the fact that every second bottle of wine I buy requires identification, I'm starting to experience those worried pangs that come with ageing like never before. The crows feet that pals pretend are not obvious are starting to bug me. I'm suddenly spending an extra tenner on eye cream and pricing up botox. I found my very first grey hair only a few weeks ago and if it hadn't been for the fact I had already ingested 3 beers at the time, I may have started sobbing right there on the spot. Only recently I banned the T word (toy boy) from all conversations with a guy I was seeing who only happened to be a couple of years younger than me. I never used to be that uptight.

But I'm not 24 anymore. The girl who balked at the prospect of spending an entire fiver on a bottle of wine will now happily throw £22.50 at one if I know it's a good bottle of Rioja. I get just as excited at the prospect of a leg of lamb and the Sunday broadsheets now as I used to at the prospect of spending the entirety of Gods day sitting in the pub. I no longer skip meals because I'm on benders but rather because if I'm going to insist on pulling guys younger than me then I need to stay in shape. My body has changed. My tummy will never be as tight and after a year of breastfeeding my boobs will never look the same again. But I'm much happier with the child bearing knocked about a bit body I am stuck with now than I ever was with my 19 year old 24 inch waist and lithe thighs anyway. So with age must come some clarity. And that can't be all bad. Can it?

 Getting older certainly has it's plus points. I may moan incessantly about never getting a weekend off, but I secretly enjoy the fact that my ex's job as a head chef means I stay in most Friday & Saturday evenings because I have Ava. When you have a kid you no longer have to worry about boyfriends sending you drunk texts at 4am or turning up at your door past midnight steaming. Wild holidays abroad that are actually just benders become a thing of the past and these days my jaunts overseas revolve around discovering new restaurants, paddling in the sea and sitting on balcony's drinking wine until 2am. 

Previous romantic ideas of movie like love stories or that love conquers all are gone. The notion that romantic love is all you need is an untruth. You need family. Children. The people who will still be there when the romantic love goes away. And I would now put my desires for a bigger family, a better career or a semi-detached house over idealistic pre-conceived notions of romance any day of the week. Not because I'm cold, hostile or money driven, but because a string of failed relationships have taught me the hard way. 

I'm a completely different girl to the one I was 10 years ago. With different priorities, a different perspective, different fears and different responsibilities. Hangovers now make me feel lonely. Come downs give me the fear. My Facebook is no longer covered in photos of me in body con dresses and I would rather spend my Friday nights eating Haribo and watching Boss Baby than downing shots and Uber'ing my way across the city centre.

My priorities when it comes to relationships have done a dramatic u turn also. I used to enjoy the start, revel in the tingly apprehension of the unknown. Spend hours second guessing his intentions, read his horoscope before mine and anxiously worry whether I was leaving it long enough before replying to his texts. Now I long to skip that part and just get straight to the good bit. I would rather have the cuddles on the sofa, the going to bed early together on a weeknight and the familiarity that allows you to walk around the bedroom in front of him naked than the nervous tension of the beginning anyway.

The truth is that you could give me all the money there was in the world. You could give me an invite to some posh event for every night of the week or a queue of hot looking bachelors at my door - but without being able to tuck Ava into her bed on a Saturday night at the scandalously late time of 10pm (because we know how to do a weekend) - it would all mean nothing to me anyway.

So maybe this getting older lark isn't actually that bad. 

And if the past ten years have taught me anything, it's this;

Life doesn't get any easier.

You just get better at it.


Ada said...

Oh, I absolutely feel this. My face has more lines and my taut bits are distinctly more loose. Ally and I have been together four and a half years and as new parents still find it hard to find a balance between being parents and a couple. At the same time I've willingly turned down plans to spend weekend nights with my boys and now we're home owners, love planning how our house is going to look. I always thought that accepting that would be the hardest part but turns out I did without even realising. Loved this! X

Dawn Young said...

Accepting it is the fun part. I've never been happier. ;-) xxxx

Rosie said...

I just love your writing, Dawn.

Dawn Young said...

Thank you so much. It means A LOT when people say that xxx

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