How I Feel At 26 Years Old

I remember crossing the line ten years ago, when I went from fifteen, to sixteen years old. I was in the second half of my teen years, and honestly, it felt wonderful. At sixteen, I was living the best time of my life. We were the eldest group in our school, the seniors who knew more than the juniors. I was a chess geek, chess champion, who played too many chess games in a day to (literally) last me a lifetime. I was close to sitting my GCSEs, and then – real life!! Man, I was looking forward to ‘real life’, the life after high school. But I was also a little apprehensive about it. I knew nothing about university, or how it worked. But reaching sixteen years old felt wonderful.

Ten years later, I have crossed that threshold again. I’m now 26 years old, in the second half of my 20s. How does it feel? Again, a little apprehensive.

Back then, I felt better once I reached 17 years old. I had entered university then to do my pre-degree in law, and I had a good idea of what life towards my 20s would look like. It feels the same, now at 26. I have a feeling that I’d have a better grasp of life once I hit 27. And goodness, I’m looking forward to being 27. I always felt that 27 is the age where people settle and know what their life is about. That they become more financially stable and start to really achieve big plans and goals. That’s how I’ve always viewed being 27 anyway.

But that’s still a year away. Where am I, at 26 years old? First, grasping the concept of motherhood in life. Fawning over my dear son while reading too many message boards about what green poo is, and whether I’m pumping and supplying enough at daycare, and why my son has phlegm and is coughing, and what to expect when we start him on solids. At 26 years old, I’m still grappling with the dream job I want to have. Like all idealists, I want something with excellent pay, flexible (and less) hours, work-life balance, close to home, a permanent position, good employee benefits. But I’ve long learned that such jobs don’t exist. 😝

At 26, I’ve been married for a year plus now, and we seem to be in harmony with each other’s good and bad habits. Conversation is still easy, as long as we keep reading new books and articles to have more interesting topics to talk about. Chores are more streamlined, and also shared. Sometimes he cooks, and I’m the one who goes to the dryer. But we’re at that phase now of driving around nice neighbourhoods, planning for when we can purchase a house of our own and make it our home. And we’re still looking for that one job we’d stick to until retirement, or at least for more than five to ten years for once.

I feel that, at 26, I’m at a sort of transition. Getting the hang of motherhood. Finding that perfect job. Building the courage to finally register my own company. Taking that big step to finally buy a house.

Last week, I conducted a workshop, and thankfully it seems like everyone thought I was in my late 20s or early 30s. Because credibility does come with age, and not just maturity. I can’t wait to be 27, which is that sweet age in your 20s like being 17 is in the teen years. More than anything, I hope 26 will be filled with lots of experiences and important stepping stones so I can stop being in transition and start life. You know. Real life.

Even though real life had started already since the day I was born.

Most importantly, I want to love being 26, because even at this age, I’m searching for myself. Getting to know myself better each and every day, and learning what I am capable of (and aren’t). I learned for example that yes, I can wake up every two to three hours to pump or feed after all and not be conpletely zombified the day after.

Much more room to grow. So much more to learn. That’s my current joy at being 26.

PS: Sorry for not posting for two weeks! I’m going through some major life changes and am finally back on track. A few bonus posts coming up, so stay tuned!

Maibreakstheice is a blog where I like to tackle life questions through my personal experiences and, where applicable, through my knowledge as a graduate in family counselling. Keep your eye out for updates every Tuesday, or subscribe via email to receive updates straight to your mailbox!

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