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17 Jan

Being In My Late Twenties

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.)

Next time on Generations. #MothersDay

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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.

The canola crew. ☀️

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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.

Header photo by Archer Rose Photography. Make-up and hair by Cat Terblanche.

  • Justine Nienaber

    27 was the BEST year of my life. I hope it is yours too, and that like me every year after that just gets better and better.

    January 18, 2018 at 10:08 Reply
  • louise

    Although in my early thirties, I can 100% relate to your sentiment regarding friendships.
    Also, totally love this ‘Life freaks me out as much as it excites me. I feel lost in this world, yet so sure of my place in it.’

    January 18, 2018 at 10:45 Reply
  • Merwe Moelich

    Being in my late thirties

    Remembering the lyrics from Blink182’s What’s my age again. ‘’ Nobody likes you when you’re 23”
    So, turning 23 was the first fear and indication of getting “old”. Next month I am turning 37, and people joking about me being almost 40 started at age 31 already, but it now almost a reality.
    So far, I have had no fillings or no grey air, but I am losing hair, and I will take grey over getting bold any day!
    I think the big difference between the twenties and the thirties is pressure.
    In your twenties you can screw up a little, because everybody knows nobody is perfect in this period, and in this time on average, you will be expected to cause most trouble. This applies to studies, relationships, and first jobs.
    In your thirties there is no chance for this anymore, by now you must know where you are going career wise and be settled, and not repeat past mistakes.
    In your twenties people compare themselves against each other, but your average salary gap is not too different, because everybody is starting out in their careers.
    In your thirties this gap starts to widen, and some people take this very negatively.
    The average man judges his self-worth according to his salary. This is not the best way, but unfortunately you get judged according to this criteria thanks to the media, and your average person.
    I am a big believer not to compare yourself to others. You do what makes you happy, in your own timelines and not to please anybody else.
    There are too many people that try to please other people first and sacrifice their own happiness.
    I feel that if you are happy, you would automatically influence those around you positively, and this is the best way to achieve this.
    Stop being scared to be different than the average.
    If you are not sure about marrying a person yet, do not do it, regardless if you are going to be over thirty if you get married.
    If you are earning a certain salary, and a friend earns much more than you, be happy for him/her, and focus on your life and goals. Certain industries have bigger jumps in salaries, so you might even earn more, who knows.
    If your child starts to walk 3 weeks later than the average, you are not a bad mother.
    The big thing in the Thirties is babies, children.
    So, this is usually the start of any conversation. If somebody hears you are married, the chance of you being asked if you have children stands at about 95%. If your answer is no, then the question is, when are you planning to have children?
    Then with babies comes baby showers, doeke -braais. All these usually start at 10 am already so that some of the dads at the doeke-braai don’t get too drunk and refuse to go home to help with nap time.
    You even get people just inviting certain people to a function, not because they like them, but because it is easier because they also have children, so you do not have to talk about anything else than nappy specials, rashes, and the new purity flavours.
    In your late thirties you are also shedding the last of the “pretend friends”. The fact that you enjoy somebody’s company and they drink just as much as you at a braai does not guarantee a lifetime of friendship.
    By this time, you know who is going with you all they way, and realise, life is too short,
    I always thought this was a crazy thing old people say. Oh damb!
    Life is hard and tough as it is. Keep things simple, and do not make things more complicated than they must be. Don’t be jealous, don’t judge and appreciate what you have.

    January 22, 2018 at 14:06 Reply
  • dreamydress

    I am 30, and i miss my 27 years old.

    January 25, 2018 at 09:37 Reply
  • Phia Jana Ackermann

    Sien daai Canola Crew foto is al ‘n jaar oud – hopeloos te oud. Die Canola is weer mooi, tyd vir ‘n kuier. Mis jou Anja-Panja

    September 3, 2018 at 12:41 Reply

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