In response to the article about your twenties – and therefore your life – being almost over when you turn 27, I would like to put a positive spin on getting older. I’ve recently turned 27 and, having been called an “old soul” my whole life, I finally feel that my age is catching up to my mind. There’s been no existential crises, no panicked thoughts of “I’m so old!” rather, a peaceful feeling that everything will fall into place as it should.
Here’s why turning 27 is not a crisis situation:
You know yourself
How many times were you stuck somewhere you hated in your early twenties? Think back to all the clubs that weren’t your scene, a party full of unfriendly strangers, or the jobs that weren’t right for you. You were stuck in them simply because you didn’t do your research and wanted to take a risk and try something new. By 27, you know more about yourself and how to avoid things that won’t work for you. Yes, the occasional risk is fun and will help you grow, but you’re over wasting your time on things you won’t really love doing.
You do what’s right for you
This ties into the point above, but takes it to the next level. Maybe you spent your early twenties in relationships you knew weren’t going anywhere. Maybe you put up with toxic friends. Maybe you let yourself be overlooked at a job for too long, just because you wanted to stick it out a little longer. The good news is, this happens less and less as you get older and, by 27, you start to realise the only person looking out for you is you. And when you realise that, you start to prioritise yourself and your own interests over others.
You can still start again
It’s not too late to go and study something new, find a new job, or simply move to a new city and start again. You can leave your life behind and travel for a year, and still be able to come back and pick up where you left off.
You can afford to travel in style
Gone are the days of roughing it in a mouldy hostel, sharing a room with 12 other people. You might decide to stay in a hostel simply for people-meeting but the thought that you can afford to move to a hotel if it’s not what you thought it would be is comforting. You couldn’t do that when you took that year off between school and Uni, and were living on ramen, cheap wine and free hostel breakfasts.
You can start to give something back to your parents
By this age, you’re likely to be in a position to help your parents out, or stop expecting they pay for your dinner when they come to visit you, or when you visit them. Even if you do need to borrow money from them, it’s just that. Borrowing. I don’t know about you, but I had my share of “I promise I’ll pay you back!” conversations with my parents in my early twenties, that we both conveniently “forgot” about over time.
Now, borrowing money and not paying it back is less of a bonus like it was in your early twenties, than it is you just being selfish. It’s very rewarding to be able to give something back to the people who have helped you out your whole life.
You take more pride in your home
Remember when you first moved out and you had an assortment of furniture and kitchenware, kindly donated to you by your family or picked up at garage sales?
Now, you start to take pride in your house. That half-rotting bookcase and lumpy lounge that causes back problems aren’t really acceptable when you’re no longer living below the poverty line. It’s time to step it up and start making your environment a pleasant place to be, rather than the place you collapse in after a long day at uni and a big night of tequila shots.
You start to take care of yourself more
When you were 21, you could go out drinking on a Friday, work in your horrible retail job all day Saturday, go out again Saturday night, work all day Sunday and then stay up late finishing that essay that was due on Monday.
Try doing that at 27 and see how you go. The same goes for things like sunbaking on the beach until you burn (wrinkles, anyone?) sleeping all day and late-night chocolate binges. You’ve started to realise your body needs certain things to look good and function well, and giving up some cocktails or beer every so often will do you good.
Life envy is gone
Maybe in your early twenties you were concerned you weren’t keeping up with other people your own age. You compared yourself to all of your friends. You were convinced they were all ahead of you in life, just because they got engaged, had a child or landed their dream job before you. You started to become envious, maybe even jealous, of them and wanted these things to happen for you.
But guess what? By 27, you don’t care what anyone else is doing because you know your life is awesome as it is. And if it isn’t, you know you can make the changes you need to in order to be content. You’re genuinely happy for all of your friends, whether they’re settling down and starting a family, travelling the world or following a dream. Any envy or inferiority you might have felt at a younger age is gone. You know whatever your friends are experiencing will happen for you when you’re ready, and you have enough patience to wait until it happens naturally.
You know by now that age doesn’t matter
No age can define you or your life. Experience is what matters and if by 27 you’re getting a little more wise about your own life and who you are, then you’re doing fine.