Hollie Rosenberg turns 25-years-old this week and is nowhere near where she dreamed she'd be at this point in her life. Refusing to blame herself, she blames the sodding recession
In a matter of days I'm turning 25 and for the first time I'm considering not celebrating my birthday because I'm just nowhere near where I thought I'd be by this age.
As a naive robustly ambitious teenager, I set myself some rather ridiculous targets to achieve by the time I reached this age. From bagging a hubby and popping out a couple of kids to living abroad and owning a house – I thought I would have done all that by now.
In my mind, I was set for a Stepford Wives type life (hey! Enough of the judgey face, I'm just being honest) complete with a huge garden and lots of cake-making joy. If my teenage targets are anything to go by, I should be married to a successful man who walks in the front door and yells "Honey I'm home" every single bloody night. I also believed I would have twins babies and two sausage dogs called Bert and Barbra (after my love of Streisand, of course).
I have failed on all accounts – but that's life for a post recession (is it over? Hard to tell) 20-something, isn't it? Please say yes so I don't feel like a complete loser.
So that was the dream, and here's what's actually happening with me as I approach this, my first milestone-ish birthday.
In reality, I'm renting a flat that costs so much I have zero disposable income left over to buy the amazing designer wardrobe I had always planned on. And let's face it, I'll be about 40 before I can afford to buy a house or that rail of clothes – the recession has screwed me not just financially but sartorially and I'll be honest, I'm pissed about that.
I live with my boyfriend, yes, but I'm no Stepford Wife. I'm a Fifa widow who ends up tidying after messy boys when they come to stay and play computer games.
Instead of changing nappies, I make it a priority to attend anything that includes free booze and allows me to get smashed. I pre-night-out drink massively, too. It's a must these days. Getting drunk while sitting in my tights and bra (so there's no spillage on the frock, you know?), well, that's now a way of life. I'd rather that than struggling in a pair of sky high heels paying a fortune for a cocktail in a bar.
I work to play, and play for me takes the form of cheap gigs, drunkenly dancing in the street, eating out cheaply and exploring new places. I might not be where I thought I'd be but I'm having fun getting there. Slowly. Give me five more years and maybe I'll have ticked all my boxes - post-recession, it's difficult to know what will and won't be possible by the time the next milestone birthday rolls around.
P.S If one more person says that I am a step closer to 50 and a quarter of the way to 100, I'll probably kill them.
Yep, it's hard to find shopping money these days, so thank God for the sales...