Shit, I’m 25.

I never thought I’d be one of those people who cared about getting old. After all, they say you’re as young as you feel. However, I’ve scheduled this article to post on my 25th birthday (Oct 12th) and that scares me more than anything.

Whilst I’ve achieved a lot I feel like I’ve cheated myself along the way. There are so many things I thought I wanted that turned out to be the wrong choice. I can’t seem to help holding on to things I wasted time on, watching my life stagnate and straying further from life goals. Can you relate?

Life never goes the way we plan and often that’s for the best. I like to say that the universe has a funny way of working things out. Even when we’re stuck in a rut, it’s often because we’re being steered away from another wrong path. So here I am 25 years later, looking back on where I thought I would be…

I don’t run my own business
By the time I’m 25 I’ll have my own business/publication‘ – The words of naive 18 year old Jess. Honestly I find this laughable now, mainly because magazines are dying. (RIP Glamour)

As you may know, I studied journalism and actually I’ve been published in some amazing publications. That’s not quite what I wanted though. I wanted my own publication and no, before you start, blogging does not count. Adding context for the people that feel personality victimised by that statement – I wanted a team and an office, with the ability to cover far more than my own lifestyle ramblings. A publication that championed women and followed key media ethics (unlike most).

Whilst I did start Allie Magazine during university, we had no budget and couldn’t secure regular writers so it fell through fast. I deleted the website and gave up the URL about a year ago, but I haven’t completely given up on my dream of being financially independent with my own business.

This was a blessing in disguise
I’ve now worked in small businesses long enough to recognise the struggle. One thing I have realised is how many seemingly successful businesses aren’t even breaking even, let alone turning a profit. Start up costs, staffing issues, running fees and keeping everyone afloat – could I really handle the pressure? Probably not. Not at this age anyway. I have a long way to go and a lot more to learn.

I still don’t have my own apartment
Younger me was so idealistic. Not only did I expect to run a business, I also thought I’d be paying off my own property. A.K.A I would be hemorrhaging money.

The truth is, I moved to the city and rented. I got into debt by doing so because I had a low paying job that just about kept me afloat after uni. This was a necessary evil to move to somewhere with better job opportunities after uni. At the risk of repeating my previous blog post, I have a lot of opinions regarding the misconceptions of renting.

But this was another blessing in disguise
Moving gave me independence, life skills and access to job opportunities. I do not regret my decision in the slightest.

Not only that, but I also think I’d honestly get cabin fever. I’ve spoken before about living with flatmates, some great stories and some less so. Whilst I like my own company I’d probably be extremely lonely if I lived solo.

I focused too hard on one destination
I’ve spoken before about my mission to move to Manchester when I was younger. The problem was that once I got there I didn’t really know what to do from that point on. I’d reached my goal, what’s next?

And is the tricky thing
This is mainly why I’m so terrified of turning 25. I thought I wanted something and worked towards it, only to find I wasn’t satisfied once I got there. I have spent 25 years on the earth, I’m more privileged than most yet I’m still not happy. There is an overwhelming sense of unpredictability in my life and part of me is too terrified to set a new goal because what if that turns out to be wrong too?

I don’t know what to do with myself. I can either see this as a lack of direction or a few years freedom. I have no kids or mortgage so it’s not like I’m tied down anywhere. If I let go of what I’m familiar with the possibilities could be huge. I guess it’s time for me to take control of my own narrative.

I work at a startup now. If it takes off, it really could be amazing. If it falls through? Well, maybe I’ll be set free from Manchester and go travelling.

Life really does have a funny way of working things out and I know no matter what, it’s probably going to be ok.

Unfortunately this year has been a harsh reminder that your light can go out at any age. I can’t write this post without acknowledging that fact. However, it’s important to remember that we all live within our own parameters. I’m beyond grateful for the life I have lived.

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  1. October 13, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    I do think it can be tough when you think about your aspirations when you were younger because realities change and th world changes. I turn 28 in a few months and I have no idea where the time is going x

  2. October 13, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    In regards as to if blogging counts as writing for a magazine,it certainly DOES. Think about it,Jess. You have editorial like today’s entry,you have several different departments in your blog in which cover many different topics. How is that any different from a zine? You still have to do layouts and still plan ahead on what you’re covering next.
    I guess the biggest difference between Glamour and you is this.

    You’re still in business
    They are not.

    happy birthday

  3. October 14, 2017 / 11:30 am

    I remember very well when I turned 25, it was an emotional day. Maybe it’s something to do with becoming a quarter of a century. Happy 25th birthday!

  4. October 14, 2017 / 2:03 pm

    Happy birthday, from someone who turned 50 this year, all I can say is just enjoy yourself and go with the flow. I wasn”t truly happy with my life until I reached my 30’s. My life is a million years away now from when I was 25 x

  5. Dannii
    October 14, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    I think we all set ourselves unrealistic goals when we are young. That’s what being young is about. But 25 is still so young, I really wouldn’t stress about it.

  6. October 14, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I don’t remember turning 25 that well, 27 was a really hard one for me because at 17 I had said in 10 years everything will be different, but it was far from it.

    You do in a way have your own business though – you have your blog.

  7. October 14, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    A lot of people find that turning 25 is like having a quarter life crisis. Society has all these ideas of where you should be and what you should have achieved. At the end of the day we all have to do things at our own pace and in our own time. I can tell you this I turned 30 this year and I’m loving it! I find that the 20s is a hard time because you are more aware and conscious of what everyone else is doing and it’s easy to compare your situation to theirs. You will come into your prime and care less about these things. Enjoy being 25 it’s a pretty good age 🙂

  8. October 15, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    At 34 and having nearly died last year I’ve now take the view that life, as you say, has a way of working itself out.

  9. Jem
    October 16, 2017 / 7:49 am

    I think we all put pressures on ourselves to achieve certain things by specific ages, but seriously it’s not important. You will get there eventually.

  10. October 16, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I remember really freaking out about turning 25, much more so than turning 30 which actually felt like a relief! x

  11. October 16, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    I loved reading this! You’re an inspiration for sure!

  12. October 16, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I’m 32 next month and only now starting to realise what I want to do career wise. It does kind of spring up on you this getting older thing!

  13. October 16, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    age is so depressing. Every year it depresses me and now I’m 33… arrrggghhhh!!!!! I celebrated a friends birthday recently and they’d just turned 34 and I thought ‘wow, they’re literally a real middle aged person now…’ and then realised that will be me next year… SHHHIIITTTTTTTTTT

  14. October 17, 2017 / 11:38 pm

    Birthdays come by so quickly don’t they? I recently turned 27 and would love my own home and own business but I am proud of achievements so far