There is nothing remarkable about turning 27. It's a rather banal number. Not yet 30, and yet certainly not 21. It's the year you might have to officially start labelling yourself as 'late 20s', and also the year that so many rock stars die young. That fact has always made me a little sad, but even more so now that I have reached this age. 27 is at once so grown up and yet it's no age at all.
There is a lot on the Internet about how your twenties is a confusing and difficult time; I suspect that is partly because so much of the content on the Internet is dominated by Millennials and this is what we're living right now. But it is an odd sort of time zone to be occupying; for the first portion of your life, there are clear demarcations of each year. You are either in Year 3 or Year 4. You are either in Primary School or Secondary School. You are doing your GCSEs this year, or your A-Levels, or perhaps moving to University. There are clear goals for each year, even if they are not your own personal goals - finish the year, move up to the next, take on the next challenge as it is presented for you. After University (if you take that path), you are left out to sea, fully free to decide what path you take next - an opportunity that is both thrilling and terrifying, and not one that you are able to ignore. Of course, that continues for the rest of your life, but it is so new and raw in your early twenties, with little sense of yourself or of the world (but thinking, of course, that you know both of those things pretty darn well indeed). If I compare myself now to the person I was at 21, it almost makes me laugh - and I'm sure I will do the same again in another six years.
I am pleased with how my life has turned out (such as it is so far). For all the articles on how difficult being in your twenties are, there are as many (if not more) decrying the 'traditional' life; ignore marriage, babies, houses, they say - travel the world, take chances, don't get tied down. There is merit in that, of course, and I would never want anyone to think that there is one true life course to take - variety is the spice of life, of course, and in a troubling economic and political climate, those things may not be wise or accessible to many, or even wanted. But in the mix of all that, I think it's easy to forget that there is some merit in that more traditional way of living, and I have been glad to have the opportunity to do so. It is nice, at 27, to feel relatively settled - even as our entire world is about to be turned upside down. Strong foundations, and all that. I have been lucky, that much is certain, but I am also proud of the life and the home that I have built for myself - I couldn't have imagined this for myself at 21 (even though everything now has been built on the things I had then).
27 is going to be the year that everything changes for me. Every year until now has been made up of slow, plodding progress, as life tends to be. There are very few times in life when things are shaken up entirely, and I'm pretty sure that having a baby is just one of those times. All being well, I will become a mother in July, and there is no turning back from that. I will never not be one ever again - even as I could shed all of my other identities, should I so wish. It is, like the moment you leave University, thrilling and terrifying all at once. The best is yet to come. 27? Let's do this.