It dawned on me yesterday that in ten days I'll be turning 28.
I love birthday's - I am, to be quite honest, a bit of a diva when it comes to birthdays, I like to celebrate and have a party, but to be honest with you, when I thought about it yesterday, I had a bit of a moment where I kind of couldn't see straight from blind panic.
When did getting old happen?
Yessss, yes. I know, here comes the storm of "Oh, but you're still a baby!" or "I could be your mother!" or "Wait til you hit 40!" - I've heard it all, and I'm quite aware that there is a large population of people who are older than me.
But 28 was THE age.
You know THE age, we all had one.
THE age that when you were a kid, you had decided you were going to have your dream career by, plus the perfect marriage to a sexy movie star god with abs you could eat off, sweetheart perfect kids from a Pumpkin Patch catalogue, stylishly furnished inner city apartment, classically furnished holiday house in Tuscany and a summer home in the Hamptons, decked out in a stylish seaside theme.
We all had THE age, right?
Mine was 28.
I don't know why it frightened me so much.
Maybe it's because I've had some damn good times in my 20's and I don't want to see them end. I've done some cool shit in my 20's.
Of course, what they don't teach you when you're growing up is this... you don't have to have kids and get married before 30 to be fulfilled.
My most fulfilling moment came when drinking beer in an African restaurant on the banks of the Mekong in Laos.
We all came to the realisation that someone from every continent on earth except Antarctica was present. We had all met in our travels and we were all laughing and connecting in this little group of people who had come from literally all corners of the globe and didn't know each other a week prior, and that was a pure moment of breathlessness for me.
And it was pretty amazing.
But that moment of sheer age related panic was short lived, and here's why... I've always been a bit old - I've been old since I was like 8. People have always commented on my 'old soul' and told me I'm different to most my age.
I guess the main difference I see between me and other people in their 20's can be summed up perfectly (as always) by Liz Lemon:
I just don't get it!
I like going out and I like staying out late, but GOING out late just seems like a waste of a night to me.
Anyway I digress - approaching 28, even with my perpetually old soul, and even with my memories of travel and fun and adventure, I realise that this is the first year that I have actually felt YOUNG in a really, really long time.
I don't feel burdened by a weight - physically, mentally or emotionally. - I just feel young and free.
Sure, I don't have the dream career I set out to have when I was 14, or a husband with washboard abs, or that stylish Hamptons escape BUT I have a job I love for the first time ever, I have a boyfriend who does his best to make every one of my days better and I have, more importantly, found me - and even MORE importantly, found that I really quite LIKE me.
It is the first year that I'm having a birthday happy, healthy and fit.
It's not quite so bad not to have the teenage dream in your twenties, in fact I quite like this little snippet...
That's what my 20's have been and that's what my 20's will continue to be, even more so now that I'm light and strong enough to keep up.
I have the rest of my life to do the other stuff.
I am still so young, and I am finally healthy and free enough to enjoy it!
You still won't find me leaving to go out at 10pm though, no matter how fit I am.