Rites of passage that every girl experiences

I used to think that I was terrible at being feminine and had absolutely no idea how to ‘be a girl.’ But then I realised that many of us have been through these adolescent traumas and we’re all friends here. 

Being a girl is a strange and wonderful time, with hearts filled with Britney Spears and dreams of being a cheerleader we grow into women. There are certain things we all go through in this transition into womanhood – some of them embarrassing, others comforting and most of them, just outright annoying. Whether it’s falling in love with Justin Timberlake or reading everything Jacqueline Wilson had ever written it helped us to blossom into the goddesses we are today. This post is for the glitter-loving noughties girl inside all of us.

Bleaching your hair and expecting to be a shimmering ice queen but looking in the mirror to see what can only be described as a patchy bale of hay.

Any girl that has ever DIY dyed their hair blonde has experienced this – and if you’re anything like me, rocked the ginger streaks for a while. A hairstyle that I’m still shocked I wasn’t banned from going outside with.

Starting your period in an awkward place and convincing yourself you’ll never go outside again. 

We’ve all been there, in the middle of a quiet day at the park and it hits. The indescribable feeling that you JUST KNOW. You shimmy into the bathroom to find out your fate and freak out – you make an action plan to get home immediately, whether it’s by car, bike or helicopter. GO!

Years later, using a period to get out of a P.E lesson you just didn’t fancy.

(and then having to keep in mind whether it had been a month since you last used that excuse.)

The first time you worry that your mini braids and sparkly crop top aren’t bomb at the school disco. 

“Can you see my body glitter?!”

Eating 3000 calories in one sitting,

Food is love guys, food is love.

Having the worst week but managing to hold it together – and then bursting into tears when a jar won’t open. 

Which is INSTANTLY worse if the jar is a necessary component of your 3000 calorie intake for that day.

Buying your first piece of high end make up, 

It’s a magical time, even if it is a discounted bright blue eyeliner that, let’s be honest, you’re never going to use.

Your first grown up alcoholic drink,

AKA, the first one that actually tastes nice and isn’t just whatever was in your parents’ cupboards.

When you finally stop bickering with your mother,

One day the teenage angst just falls away and you finally stop saying snarky comments about not needing a coat in the snow. Or maybe that’s just me (sorry mum.)

The first perfectly choreographed dance routine with your besties,

You had your steps to S Club Party down to a tee after months of working on the perfect S.

The day that you wake up with slightly tender boobs and convince yourself that you’re pregnant,

So you begin thinking of how you’d manage juggling a career and your –obedient and mega cool- child.

Realising that leg hair is completely normal,

Whilst laughing at how much you used to freak out about 4 hairs on your legs, showing off your impressive ‘tights.’

Wearing 80 accessories on your body at once,

Because, vogue.

Forming your girl gang

The perfect girl gang is essential to life, the day that you’re all drunk and officially say that you’re besties is the start of something spectacular.

Spending a ridiculous amount on fancy underwear, 

It’s just so preeetty.

Watching a chick flick and desperately wanting to be like Elle Woods, Cher Horowitz or Cady Heron. 

But really you’d just settle for a pink, fluffy phone in your bedroom.

 

 

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Things that I completely overlooked when planning my dream adult life

In short, adulthood sucks and I really want a puppy. The usual really. 

We’ve all been there, 12 years old and planning our dream lives. Mansions in the centre of an ultra-hip city, constant parties and somehow simultaneously, a loving family. Adulthood seemed like the ultimate goal, the prime of our lives – a time in which everything finally slotted into place and life was easy. A thought that seems laughable the second you turn 21. Don’t get me wrong, being a (pretend) adult is great but there are a bloody lot of things I can’t be bothered to do – and I spend half my time wishing I had zero responsibilities and was completely void of bills. I saw a similar post to this by Lauren Rellis and immediately began thinking about my own teenage hopes and dreams.It’s funny to look back and think of what I thought my life would be when I was younger – and even funnier when I think of all of the things I completely forgot about, or more accurately had no idea about, when daydreaming about my glory days.

I’m sure I’m not the only person that thought that adult life would be a series of mature conversations in suave cocktail bars, when in reality it appears to be necking a bottle of £5 wine and complaining about the mould in our houses. Perhaps everything will come up Millhouse, perhaps I’ll get my dream mansion, petting zoo and flock of adoring fans – or perhaps I’ll spend the rest of my days scrolling through Just-Eat desperate for fries at 2am. Either way, it made me chuckle to think of then and now – so I’d thought I’d share it with you all so we can laugh together at my naïve hopes and dreams.

Rent 

Let’s just get this one out of the way at the beginning. My dream house was going to have 30 bedrooms, an indoor pool, a giant garden for my hoards of animals and a home cinema. Not once did I think about the career in the mainstream music business that I’d have to pursue to ever afford this (that’s a lie I definitely wanted to be the next Beyoncé.) My point is, there is probably no career I could pursue within my lifetime that will ever allow me to own Claire Castle. Not to mention, as I’ve grown older it’s become apparent to me that living in a giant house would actually be horrible – all of the unexplainable noises and the vast amount of cleaning just isn’t worth it. I think I’ll probably stick to Claire Condo – or at this rate, Claire’s room in a house-share with 4 other people. 

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Living in one building with all of my friends 

As I got slightly older of course I had the typical adolescent thought and wanted to move into one building with all of my BFFL’s. Now, this is a fantastic idea, there are no negatives to this situation. Unfortunately there is just no feasible way that enough people could move out of one building so that me and all my pals could move in. (Of course I mean approximately the 10 friends that I have – but it’s still not very likely.)

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Landing your dream job – with ease 

I had definitely watched far too many films of cutesy twenty-somethings stumbling into an assistant job straight out of uni, impressing their boss and getting the job of their dreams within a year. Of course the sad reality of this is that after leaving uni you’re thrown into a section of cyberspace that’s filled with hundreds of other 2:1 wielding graduates that have seen the same  fictional characters living the dream.

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Staying in touch with your pals

Expecting to keep in touch with all of your friends was something every teenager seemed to think would happen naturally – I remember me and my best friends way back when  discussing that our parents had about three friends, a concept that was completely surreal and nightmarish to us. Little did we know that we’d spend 80% of our time working and the other 20% trying to catch up on sleep. Maybe if we’d found that giant building that we could all move into I’d still be dancing around to You Me At Six right now. Well dancing around, with friends to You Me At Six right now.

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Spending time in fancy bars, sipping cocktails and looking v. sophisticated 

This is probably the only one I’ve come close to, although instead of fancy bars it’s a Be At One at happy hour, and instead of looking v. sophisticated I’m dancing to Mambo No. 5.

Having a lush indoor pool 

In my head when I was younger, having a pool in my house meant that I’d made it in life – I could die happy, my wake could be a super cool pool party. I imagined spending days lounging by the pool, sipping on some fruit punch and thinking about how simple and relaxing life was. All was well until adulthood came along – leaving me a pool-less loser that can hardly afford my local leisure centre.

 

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Owning 20 dogs 

This is something I still refuse to believe. I used to want a “Puppy Palace” more than anything in the world. When I say used to I mean, up until about a year ago. Heck, it’s what I still want today. Let me paint this image for you, a puppy palace is a big sparkly building that is full of all of my puppies and they’re all treated like royalty. I’m sure you can see why this one is hard to let go of. Unfortunately –and I am legitimately sad whilst typing this- I just don’t have time for my puppy palace. (Or an appropriate income of course.) I’m pretty sure I don’t have time for one perfect canine friend.

Magically having perfect skin 

I can’t remember what made me think this, maybe just sheer hope, but somewhere in my brain I was convinced that bad skin was something that mystically disappeared as soon as you turned 20. I spent years of my spotty teenage life eagerly awaiting the day that I’d wake up with what can only be described as the skin of a goddess. However I’m almost 22 years old and I’m still sporting blemishes and some impressively red cheeks.

It’s so strange to think of what I thought adulthood was when I was younger, I think I speak for many when I say – I was pretty sure it was a constant party and money-fest. There’s something bittersweet about looking back on the past and your perception of life, in knowing that although some things didn’t go to plan and you’re not living it up Elle Woods style – there are so many other things that you learn to appreciate. I’d like to think child-Claire would be happy with where I am and who I’ve become, but knowing her she’d probably just complain and ask for a puppy.