I turned 34 today. My friend told me recently not to worry about it because it’s only 2 x 17. Like, 17 is a smaller number so less scary. But I think that’s the first time it dawned on me that age 17 was 17 years ago. I’m almost 2 x adult. I applied for my provisional driving licence 17 years ago and had my first driving lesson. 17 was sneaking into bars and hoping the bouncers didn’t ask me for ID. It was living at home with my parents, my brother and two dogs. It was college parties and no hangovers. My life could not be more different now. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, how different life is at 34 vs 17. So here’s 17 ways my life has changed in the last 17 years:
- If you text me after 10.30pm you won’t get a response until 6.30am the next day. I need a solid 8 hours sleep a night to exist now. Back when I was 17, sleep was for the weak and I’d easily manage a 9 hour shift at Homebase and then get straight back on the booze.
- I now willingly eat vegetables and enjoy them. I remember picking hidden peas out of my mash potato when I was 17.
- I look at a donut now and immediately put on weight. My metabolism at 17 was impressive.
- I have a favourite food shop now. At 17 my favourite shop was New Look.
- When I was 17 I thought I never wanted to live the same day twice. Who wanted a Mon-Fri, 9-5 office job? It sounded so dull.But now? Yes, please give me my weekends and evenings and every Christmas off.
- Speaking of routines, anyone else really enjoy your weekly routines? Like, Saturday morning gym then coffee, followed by food shop and laundry day?
- I can’t remember if I ever got grounded at 17, I think that stage had ended by then. But imagine being grounded now? ‘No, Gemma. You are not allowed to go out. Go to your room’. Thank goodness. I’m already in my pjs, so fine by me. Can I take this block of cheese with me??
- Oh yeah, pjs and active wear are my favourite items of clothing these days. What do you mean I have to wear jeans and look presentable??
- Speaking of clothing, at 17 I’d go out with a mini skirt and a top that left a two inch gap of bare stomach and skin on show.I’d say I was afraid someone would steal my jacket, but that was a lie. Now I go out with a jumper, jacket, scarf, hat and gloves. And that’s just to get to the Uber.
- Hangovers last about 20 days now. At 17 I could bounce back after about 20 minutes.
- Oh and I get hangovers after approximately one and a half pints now. I don’t want to think about how much I used to drink at 17.
- I used to go out and all I’d want to do is chat to boys. Now if guys come over to try and talk to me and my friends it kind of makes me want to leave. Obv if the guy is hot then maybe I’d be more inclined to stay…
- At 17 I had approximately 3 million friends(still not prone to exaggeration though). Now I have a handful of really,really good ones.
- I know people who are getting pregnant on purpose now. Like, not it’s safe to smile and say congratulations when someone announces they’re pregnant instead of checking first if it’s good news.
- I remove my make up and moisturise every day now. I took my 17 year old skin for granted and now I think that all the face creams will somehow erase the crows feet around my eyes.
- At 17 I hated people telling me what to do with my life. I knew what I wanted and you couldn’t stop me. Now I’m like, ‘PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE’.
- Being in such a hurry to grow up and start living my life vs the realisation that adulting is hard. But wow, how much do I NOT want to be 17 again?I don’t want to have to go through all of that again, that’s for sure.
What things have changed for you since you were a teenager?