I turn 27 on 11 April. Recently, while I was on holiday in the Cederberg, a boy kept calling me “Tannie”. These days I get more wedding invites than Facebook friend requests. Every now and then I discover a rogue grey hair and I convince myself it is just a very special highlight.
I am officially in my late twenties.
This is a very interesting period in my life, because I am just as much a giant child as I am a responsible adult. I find my shopping cart filled with veggies and sugar-free products, but also viennas and Rainbow Crunchies. These days I’d rather spend money on Beroccas than Bacardis, and I absolutely detest wasting a day because I drank the night before.
I work hard. Very, very hard. Like most millennials, I have multiple jobs to keep the boat afloat. And like most millennials, I get flack from older generations for the way I live. I’m unmarried, I live with my boyfriend, both of us work and pay the bills equally.
And when I glance at my phone once, I have to hear how my generation is obsessed with our phones. Like your phone wasn’t vuurwarm every night after a lekker gossip with Betty from your Tupperware party.
I love my flat and I get very excited about things my younger self would find embarrassing. I celebrate everything from buying a pretty new set of mugs, to finally having my own desk. When I was younger, I’d sooner sit on actual coals than sit at a desk. But when I bought one recently, I found myself walking up to it every now and then – looking at it fondly like a new mother. (Who am I?)
As much as I love my flat, I’d like to own my own home. And I worry about the future and not being able to afford one in the area that has stolen my heart. I am extremely happy in Cape Town and I love being able to spontaneously walk down to the sushi spot at the end of my road, or pop down to the shops at 20:00 because we realised too late that we don’t have any food in the house. But I want a garden and a dog.
I love my parents so much, and it makes me cringe when I think about what a demonic teenager I was. I have come to want only the best for them, and to never be a burden to them in any way. Instead of arguments in the car before school, I now have 45min long conversations with my mom at night. I don’t have girlhood secrets anymore. Instead, I share every detail of my life with her. Sometimes too much detail. (Someone definitely needs to wipe my WhatsApp history when I die.)
Time is my most valuable asset, and I don’t like to spend it on anything that doesn’t make me happy. I have no interest in temporary friendships anymore. I am attracted to people who share my goals and ideals. I have left those behind who don’t. I don’t care about the number of friends I have – I care about the value my friendships add to my life. The friends I have, I trust with every fibre of my being.
I am embarrassed to admit that envy used to play a big role in my life when I was younger. I was forever comparing my life to other people’s lives. Now, I find that other people’s happiness is my happiness. It brings me joy to hear that the people I love are doing well.
In spite of this, I am still on a very long journey of self-discovery. I am far too hard on myself, I often struggle with self-love, I can be petty and I still have to learn to let go of what I can’t control. Life freaks me out as much as it excites me. I feel lost in this world, yet so sure of my place in it.
It’s confusing, I know. But give me a break – I’m only in my twenties.