It was only a couple of months ago that I noticed something strange afoot. Something deeply, disturbingly shocking in the celebrity pages of every broadsheet and blog. It wasn’t the plethora of dazzlingly white smiles or never-seen-in-nature orange skin. It was far more cruel and unreasoning.
I noticed that suddenly, all the celebrities in the ‘bright young things’ category were the same age, or worse: younger than me.
Now, hang on. Wasn’t it just the other day that I was happily festooning my walls with pull-out posters of Hanson, dreaming of winning literary awards for my YA dystopian five-volume novel, and/or becoming the sixth Spice Girl (they needed a ‘Nerdy Spice’ with thick glasses and knee-high socks so badly)?
My pre-teen celebrity crushes seemed so much more sophisticated than the real boys I knew (although considering the unaccountably large number of boys with bowl haircuts I knew in my youth, this was perhaps not so difficult).
These celebrities existed a world away from my quiet suburban background and bespectacled, youthful angst. They were mysterious and older and resplendent with charm.
They were, I told myself, who I would date or even be when I was older: when I too, was sophisticated and had a wardrobe of Tencel™ crop tops and those black elasticated chokers that Mum wouldn’t let me wear yet.
But now. Now, I have suddenly, abruptly landed upon the fact that I am much, much older than any one of those celebs I plastered on my walls in the mid-nineties.
And yes, I’ve occasionally felt bad about this, because Lena Dunham.
I suppose it’s a fear, no – a knowledge, that Lena and her ilk have been given a not-too-dissimilar amount of time as me on this planet, but while they have been busy writing and producing TV shows, creating art, selling millions of EPs, and generally covering themselves with joy and glory, I’ve been collecting snow globes and vintage cable knits and genuinely experiencing a feeling of achievement when I remember the spelling of ‘yacht’.
So, what’s a millennial to do? Tear up the aforementioned five-volume novel in a pique of rage? Have a public meltdown in the local Westfield wearing only a shower cap and plastic jellies, hoping someone uploads it to YouTube?
No. We shall keep marching on, the thirty-something non-celebrity ‘underachievers’ amongst us. And we won’t feel bad about not being published yet, not being shortlisted for the Sundance yet, or not even having a failed cold-pressed juice social enterprise/reclaimed wood/tech start-up on our hands. Hell no.
Why? Because I have an amazing snow globe collection, a brilliant bunch of people in my life who support and encourage me in all my harebrained schemes and ideas, and the capacity to dream said harebrained schemes and ideas with abandon, because LIFE IS NOT OVER YET.
Please remember, I’m only 31.
First published on The Huffington Post blog