By Jessica Hake – Theatre Editor
Curled up in bed with a hot chocolate and half-eaten packet of digestives, I breathe a sigh of relief as I pen the goodbye on a letter addressed to ‘my future self’.
This is a concept my parents had the bright idea of this year: making both my sister and I write letters to read at the start of the next decade to reflect on our prior development. Although my note was littered with witty comments and half-baked jokes, it caused me to ponder where I realistically would be in ten years time.
In 2010 I was under the illusion that by 2020 I would be a fully-fledged adult. I was confident by now, that I would have my life together, know what I wanted to do as a career for the rest of my life, have a partner I actually liked and be able to cook a tagine. Oh how optimistically foolish young Jess was!
Yet, the unknowingness of the next ten years filled me with a feeling of uneasiness. In the guise of curing my dread, I procrastinated my several upcoming assignments by researching what statistically will have happened to me in a decade.
By 18, apparently I am meant to have ‘fallen in love’ and also have had my ‘heart broken’ for the very first time. With just under 5 months to my nineteenth birthday, I am not looking forward to this very concentrated period of emotional trauma.
By the time I am 20, I will go on my first holiday without my parents. I’m happy to say I’m finally above average here, making up for the aforementioned lack of progress. 21 is the average age for passing driving tests and going on a road trip with friends, the two naturally going hand in hand. 22 has no major milestones attached to it but a busy, jam-packed 23 makes up for it.
At 23 I will have learnt how to correctly iron clothes. I stand by the fact that I can already do this, though there are a few choice individuals who would argue otherwise… By this ripe old age I will also have mastered the art of cooking, gained my first promotion, owned my first car and finally leave Sussex after finishing full-time education.
In contrast to such a joyous 23, 24 is the average age of getting fired. Possibly as a result, it is also when most of us will get a credit card. Yet, not all is lost, when you finally reach 24 you will learn how to garden and probably enjoy frequenting garden centres, looking at seasonal flowers and drinking loose leaf tea.
25 and 26 mimic being 22 in the regard that nothing really happens. However, when you get more than half way through the decade at 27 you will get engaged (for the first time), buy your first house with your partner and finally host a dinner party after being inspired by watching ‘Come Dine with Me’ night after night as you avoid actually talking to your fiancé.
At 29, your first child will be born. Now, by this time 2030 will have reached me; for the older readers among you I’ll fill you in on what is next to come. At 32 you will finally tie the knot with your beloved and given that divorce rates are at an all-time low in the UK, there’s a good chance you will actually stay together until your inevitable death.
33 is when the majority of people get their first major promotion or head hunted for their ‘dream job’. So, all in all, it looks like quite a lot is to come in the next decade. But, the big milestone we all want to know seems to occur quite a bit later when we reach 46, finally gaining a membership to the National Trust. By then we can enjoy walks in numerous protected sites of English heritage, look around secondhand bookshops, enjoy bonding in nature and drinking overpriced cappuccinos.
My mind’s wonderings have now been put to rest and having nothing left to distract myself with, I can hear my assignments calling me. I wonder if by 2030 I will have eventually mastered the art of time management, I surely hope so.
Image credit: Videoplasty