With my 16th birthday approaching faster than the time it takes to get a drink in All Bar One, I thought I’d take a moment to disappoint my younger self with everything that doesn’t happen when you reach the first milestone of adulthood.
You don’t become one of THOSE women. The pedigree breed that can waltz into a vintage shop, pick up a capsule wardrobe of timeless pieces that, despite containing an array of contrasting trends, all just work and people would say, “Oh Jess, I love your (insert trendy upcycled item here)! Where did you get it?” And I’d swoon over my camomile tea and mutter, “Oh Dahrling, I wish I could make things easy for you but it was from a little retro market in Camden in 2004. I’m sure Debenhams will make a replica.” Yeah. You don’t become one of them.
In fact it’s debatable whether woman is even the best adjective to describe your current place. You’re more of a socially inept unicorn awkwardly positioned on earth to lecture hipsters about the dangers of wearing fringe tops near naked flames- you’ve even adopted nicknames such as ‘Gonky’ and ‘Squidge.’
You cancel your Club Penguin membership. I know, I agree, the fact Laceilee now has to sit with all the commoners in the cattle class igloos breaks my heart too, but at the end of the day we have to save that money for our weekly Waitrose shop. And what would you rather: an online addiction or a kale shake? (…Not that you actually drink pureed vegetables. We’re much too busy eating own brand peanut butter by the scoop.)
You’re not married yet. Or courting. Even gallivanting tbh. If you suddenly see a queue of boys and think they’ve come to sweep you off your brogue ridden feet, you’re probably just stood too close to the Apple store.
You still buy Doc Martens even though you secretly know they make your heels look like extras from the crusade scene in Les Mis and you’ll end up spending more on blister plasters than the cost of the shoes themselves. But still. Sixteen year old Jess thinks they look cute and your Grandma describes them as a ‘sensible shoe’ so we’re onto a winner.
The Sugababes have broken up. Again. Well sort of. Basically just keep singing ‘About You Now’ into your paintbrush and maybe you’ll never notice it happens…
You’re still the weirdest friend. And that’s totally okay… *facetimes self* because recently the world has become a little too obsessed with being ordinary. Everyone shops in the same Topshop and wears the same cropped jumpers, eats the same sushi and pretends to like the same indie vinyl- despite not even owning a record player- and the ability to reject the norm is maybe just as important as following it.
In the words from American Beauty (which has now become your second favourite film of all time): “It’s a great thing when you realise you still have the ability to surprise yourself. Makes you realise what else you can do that you’ve forgotten about.”