Ge­orgina Law­ton

Adult­hood is ba­si­cally go­ing from spend­ing £500 in Top­shop to blow­ing £1,000 in Ikea

The Guardian - Family - - Front page - @Ge­orginaLaw­ton

It is my 25th birth­day this week­end, which means I am of­fi­cially al­lowed to use the phrase “quar­ter­life cri­sis”. I am in­fin­itely less wise than I thought I would be by now, but, be­cause I am half­way through my sec­ond decade and adult­hood is slap­ping me in the face like a wet fish, I’m well placed to share 25 things I have learned.

1. Your phys­i­cal and men­tal health, and that of those clos­est to you, is all that re­ally mat­ters. Ev­ery­thing else is just back­ground scenery, ir­rel­e­vant decor that adorns the stage of your life.

2. The UK isn’t the worse place in the world to live. Even with the pop­ulist pol­i­tics, the con­sis­tently ter­ri­ble Satur­day night TV and the na­tional ob­ses­sion with a pal­lid, taste­less, leaf-based drink, it is all right, re­ally.

3. There is no shame in talk­ing about your feel­ings out loud. Bri­tish peo­ple are bad at this: ig­nore them. Get ther­apy, call a mate, speak up.

4. Ex­cel­lent friends will see you through dark times. Thank them, get drunk with them, party with them be­fore they get mar­ried and have kids.

5. It is fine to jet­ti­son any­one who doesn’t bring out the best in you.

6. For­give­ness isn’t weak­ness. 7. Di­ets are point­less.

8. Re­al­ity TV will save your soul dur­ing the bleak­est of times.

9. Grief is not some­thing you can seal up in­side you and smooth over. You will learn to build around it, to carry on, but some­times grief will mow you down and plough straight through you. This is OK.

10. Lon­don is a de­cent city in which to wile away your youth: it has thou­sands of bars and this thing politi­cians call “op­por­tu­nity”, so it is fun at times.

11. For­get the prop­erty thing. Fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, your own space and the free­dom to paint your walls any­thing other than mag­no­lia are over­rated.

12. Keep­ing your­self or­gan­ised is now less of a chore and more a way of living that I have come to re­alise is ac­tu­ally con­ducive to suc­cess.

13. A Hot­mail email ad­dress is no longer ac­cept­able.

14. Fil­ing sys­tems are use­ful. Post-it notes are not evil. Cal­en­dars were cre­ated for a rea­son.

15. Stor­ing all your pass­words on one spread­sheet is a recipe for hours and hours of wasted time. 16. Money comes and goes.

17. The more you earn, the more you spend on bor­ing pur­chases that make your life a lit­tle bit eas­ier and a touch more mun­dane: £20 on floral coast­ers; £1,000 in a no-ac­cess, five-year Isa. Living.

18. Adult­hood is ba­si­cally tran­si­tion­ing from spend­ing £500 in Top­shop to

Adult­hood is ba­si­cally tran­si­tion­ing from spend­ing £500 in Top­shop to blow­ing £1,000 in Ikea

blow­ing £1,000 in Ikea on a credit card.

19. Talk­ing to strangers won’t kill you. Most peo­ple are ac­tu­ally OK – un­less they are es­tate agents.

20. Bad/ran­dom/drunken sex still hap­pens, just less fre­quently than it used to, be­cause you don’t have the time and you are over the drama.

21. If you are go­ing to spend most of your life work­ing, it helps to find some­thing you love. Per­haps it won’t hap­pen in your 20s, but get­ting pas­sion­ate about some­thing makes the world shine that lit­tle bit brighter.

22. Ex­tended pe­ri­ods of travel are nearly al­ways a good idea. Travel changes your world out­look, melts prej­u­dices and leaves you with bet­ter pub chat, so go.

23. The days of eat­ing fried, doughy carbs with wild aban­don all win­ter and then strut­ting around half-naked come sum­mer are, un­for­tu­nately, over.

24. Ex­er­cise … is … good … be­cause it makes you look and feel … good? You should re­ally keep it up.

25. Your par­ents are just two deeply flawed hu­man be­ings who may or may not have led strange and in­ter­est­ing lives be­fore they met and had you. They have is­sues and a whole heap of weird stuff go­ing on in their heads, just like you. Love them any­way.

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