Photographer: Chris Bissell. MUA: Abbi-Rose. Hair: Charlie Wilkinson.

As my 25th birthday is approaching, I have been reflecting over what it means to grow older and get closer and closer to proper adulthood (I mean who really feels like an adult under the age of 30 anyway?!).

I remember when I turned 23, the kind of thoughts going through my head were very different from now. I remember feeling anxious about growing older, which may have had to do with my death anxiety, but also to do with the fact that society views ageing (especially for women) as something to avoid. “As you get older your value decreases”. lol k thanks.

But by searching inwards, I am approaching my 25th birthday with a different mind-set. I know I am getting older, I know that looks wise it’s only downhill from here, and I know that I will be in many social situations which will make me feel old. But I am ok with that. In fact, I feel a sense of calm and accomplishment.

To provide an example. This weekend I found myself at pre-drinks in a student accommodation complex (yes, I am aware that as an almost 25 year old that is a massive cougar warning and should not be happening). It was random, last minute, and I can confirm I did not know it was a student accommodation until we arrived (my friends can confirm this story). Anyway, me and my friends were drinking our wine out of red cups (I mean it was only right considering the circumstances) and conversing with various people. I ended up having a conversation with a 19 year old teenage girl who was telling me about how she was revolting against her parents by not going to university and how she had a bucket list of things she wanted to do before she turns 25 and gets old (I decided to ignore that slap in the face) and was generally a lovely girl, but with little life experience from what I gauged. In that moment, drinking my wine and listening to the dramas of being a teenager, a sense of appreciation washed over me. I felt thankful that I am 24 going on 25, and that I will continue to grow older.

The reason for this is because I the older I get, the more life experience I obtain, and the more soul searching and self-reflecting I do. I thought I had my shit together at 19, but now looking back I know I had no shits together whatsoever. And just knowing that I will continue to grow as a person and become wiser the older I get makes me kind of excited for the ageing process. Wrinkles and all.

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