An Age Defining Moment

I was once again reminded of my age (31) whilst on holiday, celebrating my brother’s eighteenth birthday. His eighteenth birthday the little bastard.


Excuse the weird pic. I wanted to do an aged ‘comedy’ photo and this Einstein filter was the closest thing Snapchat had.

Now 31 might sound old to some of you or actually quite young to others – it depends what side of the hill you’re sitting on. But I’m quite a young 31 (and for young you should read immature). I’m not married and I don’t have children or a mortgage. My boyfriend of eight years only moved in last year and the idea of kids still seems faintly ridiculous though I do really like them (same wavelength).

I still call adults ‘adults’ even though, technically, I am one (I say it in the same way a teenager bunking off school might) and I frequently drive around with my friends listening to Limp Bizkit or Oxide and Neutrino. I innocently asked once whether this would be lame once we reached our 40s. I was bluntly told “it’s lame now”. Okay.

My point is in my head I still feel….maybe 24 or 25? Independent but not responsible. So anyway me (31), my boyfriend (29 – also a bastard), my sister and her boyfriend (both around the 23 mark) and my tiny, weeny little brother (18 of course ) went to Amsterdam for the weekend and because it’s a popular place for holidays and the whole coffee shop thing and people going away and causing trouble etc., tourists get ID’ed a lot. Except me apparently because every place we visited the conversation basically went like this –

(surly doorman) “ID please.”

all of us go to get our ID

(surly doorman to me) “Just them, not you.”

(me) *looks round at everyone laughing on the outside but crying on the inside*

And it reminded me of the first time I ever felt ‘old’ and like a boring old adult and an actual real age defining moment of my life. I was standing outside Nandos (cheeky) in Chelmsford (standard) waiting for some friends to have dinner with when a group of teens came up the high street on skateboards and bikes. I then heard –

“be careful there’s a lady standing there”

And I very quickly realised they meant me. No longer was I girl, nope – I was a lady.

Sounds ridiculous (I know I’m being ridiculous) but it felt like a pinnacle moment as it dawned me how the youngsters saw me now as an adult. Very polite lads though I must say – and am I showing my age by saying that?

About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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47 Responses to An Age Defining Moment

  1. sportsattitudes says:

    Reading this I recalled the first time I was referred to as “sir” by a retail salesperson. I tried in vain to convince myself it was because they were being super-polite. I instead realized I had arrived at a new level in life. Great post!

  2. vinnieh says:

    Age is just a number Emma. And 31 is very young.

  3. Renate says:

    I think I’m always going to have “age crises” which is pretty bad because I should really embrace every year and age. I’m 19 going 20 this year (I know I’m very young) but I’m freaking out because I’m leaving the “teen” and I feel so old, even though I’m not.

  4. Zoë says:

    Em, I think you and I are in the same boat. Getting older physically, but we are still doing our own thing anyway. No kids, no mortgage, etc. I am good with that. I still listen to my music from when I was a teen, and I love it. I won’t apologise hahaha.

    “I still call adults ‘adults’ even though, technically, I am one.” – a realisation I make on a daily basis. Which sucks, and the point is run home terribly for me on a daily basis because I work with students. I see their ID numbers and then I just feel meh. LOL.

    • emmakwall says:

      BUT we also remember the confusion that still makes us these so called “adults” lol 🙂

      It’s just scary (a little bit) sometimes when you start thinking ‘when / if’ you’ll ever do these grown up things!

      And does anything beat listening to the music of your youth? I don’t think so!! 🙂 🙂

  5. Jay says:

    I know, I don’t feel old yet either although clearly I am. A few of my elderly friends have begun turning 40 and I am taken aback. That’s my Mom’s age, isn’t it???

    • emmakwall says:

      EXACTLY! I remember being 20 and thinking “30 – so old”. Now I’m 31 and still feel exactly the same except my thoughts are “40 – so old” and then a whisper “but not that far away….”

  6. Jordan Dodd says:

    Ugh, this is so familiar Em. I’m still a kid. Hell, my life didn’t really begin until 25! What depresses me (we’re roughly the same age) is that my body is deteriorating just as my interest in martial arts is at its peak. Still got time though.

    Oh, and one more thing.


    I fuckin LOVE driving around with Creedence Clearwater CRANKED, or Smells Like Teen Spirit or something from when I was younger, singin’ along to it. Korn is another great one.

    Miss you at my blog Em! 😦 How have you been? mkay?

    • emmakwall says:

      Korn too! DEFINITELY!!! Have missed you too, heaps! Sorry I’m not on here as much, drop me an email? Would love to catch up! You okay though? Brutus well? 🙂

      I know just what you mean. I was at work today and noticed all these lines around my eyes in the light. I’m deteriorating nooooo. In all seriousness what you say is so true, as we grow up we get more confident, we feel a bit more comfortable with who we are (generally) yet the ‘best years of our lives’ are pretty much behind us, physically speaking. On that cheery note….! You rock Jordan! Are you taking up martial arts now? Kung pow!


      • Jordan Dodd says:

        Hehehehehe. You are teh awesome Em. EMBRACE THE LAME!! I just love the strange looks I get when Hendrix is BLASTING out my car. I always see this puzzled look, like they are thinking “where’s the doof doof?” 😛

        Yeah I’ve really gotten into Brazilian jiu jitsu (yknow, where you roll around and try to get arm-locks and chokes). Its pretty damned awesome once you get really into it. Three injuries in a row though is pretty goddamned frustrating!!! That’s why I say I feel like my body is deteriorating… I was scared that my skeleton literally couldn’t handle it. But I was reassured by many others at my gym who went through similar problems when they started out. Coach told me that the slow starters are the strongest finishers. And he gave examples of that too, which made me feel a lot better. And I’ve been healthy for two weeks now which is the longest stretch of no injuries I’ve had since I started.

        Ya know, for me, I need to ensure the best years of my life are ahead of me. I poisoned my body with everything I could from 14-25, epilepsy knocks off 20 years of life expectancy, so… yeah, I need to make this next decade really count!! I NEED to finish my book as soon as possible, I keep putting it off for BULLSHIT reasons, and by the end of the year I’ll have done my placement and hopefully am an AOD counsellor. That is where I wanna be – helping people get through what I went through.

        Would love to grab your email so we can chat some more 🙂

  7. You’re still young Emma! I wish I was your age again (I’m not going to tell you how old I am now – lol). Let me just say the last time I was asked for ID was when I was 41. I was so shocked – and elated! – that the event is forever burned into my memory.

    • emmakwall says:

      I’ll be polite and not ask but age is just a number! 🙂 cliche but also true 🙂

      I feel elated now when they ask for ID on the very, very faint occasion they do lol. I can’t even remember the last time!!!

      I like it when they ask “do you mind?” and I think mind…..I’m effing ecstatic!

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