So, I am a year older – the big two-eight. Scary.
Clearly I had to take some time out and do some navel gazing – reorganise my priorities, reassess my life risk-benefit ratios, consider my future.
Dull, but essential.
My first response to turning 28 was: “Geeze, two years till I’m 30. I’m getting old.”
The first response of everyone around me was: “Old? You’re a spring chicken.”
Funny. I don’t really feel like a spring chicken. 10.30pm is my average bedtime. A night out consists of getting the last tube home. Getting drunk is overrated (especially the next morning). And is that my biological clock I hear ticking?
Ok, so 28 isn’t as bad as say 29, or 30. And it's no where near as “old” as 40 or 50. But 28 is not just two numbers getting cosy. It’s loaded. It screams responsibility, maturity, time to settle down, time to be making money, managing a business, owning a house.
In 2007, the median age of a New Zealand female getting married for the first time was 28.1. When my mum was my age she was married with two children.
With the increasing drive to stay young – be it via plastic surgery or finding a toy boy – there is pressure when another year rolls around. It’s understandable why so many young people in their 20s today are going through quarter-life crises – there is a deep subliminal message that there are certain things we should be achieving at certain points in our life and if we haven’t met those in our set out timescale then clearly we’ve failed.
Back when I was 15, I always aimed to be making NZ$100,000 by the age of 30. This is looking increasingly unlikely – unless there are seismic changes in how much journalists get paid or I take up another better-paid profession that requires no additional training (options are rather restricted I’m guessing). Even though I’ve come to terms with this, I’m still acutely aware that I feel haven’t achieved enough in 28 years. I mean, Kelly Osbourne is writing an autobiography – and she’s only 23.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Twenty-eight is rumoured to be an awesome age. It’s no longer 27, which is just a weird number. And it’s not 29, which is one year shy of 30 (and as I’ve been told, you spend the whole of 29 worrying about turning 30). Meanwhile, a wise source told me 28 is the average age of heroines in romance novels.
But getting old is all relative, isn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t matter how old you are, there will always be someone younger than you and by proxy you will feel old in comparison.
However, you don’t need some whipper snapper to remind you that a Zimmer frame is only around the corner when all you have to do is reminisce – My Little Ponies, Smurfs, three sweets for 1 cent, New Kids on the Block (the first time round).
But at the end of the day, you’re only as old as you’re shoe size. Right?