10 brilliant films and TV shows we can’t WAIT for this Autumn
10 brilliant films and TV shows we can’t WAIT for this Autumn

Jennifer McShane

Alanis Morissette is distancing from new documentary that claims she was raped at 15
Alanis Morissette is distancing from new documentary that claims she was raped at 15

Holly O'Neill

Dulux have revealed their colour of the year for 2022, here’s how to use it in your home
Dulux have revealed their colour of the year for 2022, here’s how to use it...

Megan Burns

With unbroken sea views and an outdoor Jacuzzi, this architectural home in Kinsale is on the market for €2.35 million
With unbroken sea views and an outdoor Jacuzzi, this architectural home in Kinsale is on...

Lauren Heskin

Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club
Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club

Holly O'Neill

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list

Holly O'Neill

Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread
Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread

Megan Burns

Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper
Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper

Amanda Cassidy

The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every day
The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every...

Shayna Sappington

Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart of it’
Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart...

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

From Where I Stand


by IMAGE
22nd Sep 2014
blank

Over the next few days, a few IMAGE staffers muse on the process of getting older…

Part 1

On the outside looking in, it would appear to others that I’m having the time of my life. In the midst of my twenties, I’m experiencing a time of little responsibility, with no mortgage to worry about, the freedom to come and go as I please and no kids to wake me up at 6am; bliss, right? I’m 26 years old, I have a creative job that satisfies me in every way, I live in a beautiful apartment with the love of my life and I can pay my bills without suffering from malnutrition. I have the loving support of my family at all times and am lucky enough to have a handful of true friends that I will cherish for years to come. In that rather pretty picture, it sounds as though I have everything figured out and perhaps am even someone to be envied.

But I really don’t, and I’m really not. I’m often insecure, I question myself daily, I worry about things that I know are not worth worrying about. My mind races incessantly, analysing and overanalysing, and I’ve battled with anxiety at a time when I really should be sailing along blissfully. At times I’ve felt lost, I’ve felt like I’m not good enough and I’m an awful woman for taking everything to heart. I try to please people and I get very upset when I feel as though I have failed in some way. I’m hard on myself and more often than not, I’m my own worst enemy. Such are the range of afflictions we can experience in our 20s, the years that are said to be the best, but are really the ones you spend with your head stuck firmly up your proverbial, trying your best to sort the wood from the trees and, clich’d as it sounds, trying to ‘find yourself’.

While some women of an older vintage will warn that these are the best years of my existence, and how they’d long to be back in their 20s, on the cusp of life, I simply say ‘you’re not serious, tell me it gets better?’ Unlike so many others who actually dread the idea of turning 30, I welcome it with open arms.

I long for the wisdom that comes with experience, something that you cannot enjoy until you’ve lived a little more. I long for that sense of self and self awareness, the acceptance that you’re not a superwoman and you’ll never be one, but the self-compassion to realise that in reality, you’re doing just fine. I look forward to the time when I will truly befriend myself, when I give myself a break. I long for the ability to cut through the deluge of crap that can dominate your formative years, the ability to say ‘you know what? That’s not going to work for me anymore’, and the ease of not worrying a damn about what anyone else thinks. Now that is something to be envied.

I see women in their 30s and 40s exude more confidence than any of my peers. They may not see it in themselves but I can. They joke, nonchalantly about the perils of aging, about crows feet and sagging bottoms when in reality, they’d admit to being happier than they’ve ever been and certainly more at ease. Sure, they’ll have experienced trying times, but from where they stand, they’ve got enough perspective and experience to handle what life throws at them, knowing from all that has gone before, that they’re more than capable of coping. Such women, (such as editor Ellie who’ll be penning the next in our ‘From Where I Stand’ series) not only inspire me, but reassure me that with age, comes the most wonderful simplicity.

Getting older is far from a curse, it’s a privilege and something that we in our 20s should relish. I certainly will. Will you?

Caroline Foran @CarolineForan

Also Read

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Quite interesting’: Princess Anne comments on The Crown

We’ve all heard that the royal family don’t exactly gather round to watch The Crown, but one member has shared...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE