Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

When I Was 25


When I was a child, 25 was the epitome of grown-up. Now it’s like a millon light years away and I can barely remember who I was and what I did. However, Elizabeth and Jade‘s lovely posts have both inspired me to try to remember.

When I was 25, I decided to get married. My now husband had been proposing for two years and I had been prevaricating (“First I want to write a novel/go to China/buy these shoes”), but one day in the supermarket, somewhere near the loo rolls, I said yes instead of no. That moment changed my life.

When I was 25, I got married. I am still married to that same person. Many of my friends who got married around the same time as me are no longer married to the same person. I plan to remain married.

When I was 25, I didn’t know what kind of wedding I wanted, so I succumbed to the general trend, wore a meringue, tried to please everybody and had a big party. Now if I had a wedding, I would accept my father’s offer to take the money and run.

When I was 25, I bought my first house. Four months later, I left that house to move to Germany. I learned that owning a house does not tie you to one place forever.

When I was 25, I had a career. I was on a path to somewhere, but it did not make me happy. Now I have less of a career and a lot more happiness.

When I was 25, I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Now I am just irritable.

When I was 25, I was torn between my husband and my friends. Moving to Germany was the best thing I did because my husband and I made friends together. Today, the people who love me, love my husband too and that means the world to me.

When I was 25, I wore far too much navy. I was also scarily attached to suits with shoulder pads, pearls and court shoes.

When I was 25, I thought weekends were for sleep. Now I realise they are for dreaming about sleep.

When I was 25, I never thought about having children and had no plan as to how they would fit into my life. Now I know that children bring their own plan.

When I was 25, I voted in South Africa’s first non-racial election.

When I was 25, my favourite sport was bridge. I played bridge on the day of South Africa’s first non-racial election.

When I was 25, my world was small. Now it is far bigger. I can go to France for my groceries if that moves me.

When I was 25, I had a car crash that wrecked my car. One inch to the left and I would have hit a pole, but I came out unscathed. I believe the angels were on my side that night.

When I was 25, I cared what people thought of me and felt dented if they didn’t like me. Now I only care for the opinions of a select few.

When I was 25, I believed I would one day write and publish novels. Now, even though I no longer qualify as a “young writer” (thanks, Granta), I still believe that.

When I was 25, I believed I could do anything, even go and live in a country where I couldn’t speak the language, where I didn’t have a job and where I didn’t know anyone apart from my husband. I still have the same blind faith in my own ability to cope.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

19 thoughts on “When I Was 25

  1. Twenty-five seems such a long time ago but I’m positive your 25 was much more eventful than mine. If I could remember what mine was like, beyond having a vague feeling that I thought 38 seemed like decades away.

    Well done on reaching the stage where you care for only the opinions of only a few. I’m still working on being able to do more than pay that concept lip-service…

  2. Pingback: 25 « Writing Under a Pseudonym

  3. What a great memory Charl – I can’t remember that much. The irritable one made me laugh .. but then frown, because you’re NOT irritable. Also, how will we feel about our thirties when we are fifty? Will that too seem so very long ago? Oh heavens..

  4. We have a lot in common….except what happened to you at 25, happened to me at 27.

    I may write about it.

  5. I also had a car crash and bought a house (well half a flat) when I was 25. I’ll have to dredge my memory to find out what else I was up to. A future post maybe, if anything comes up.

  6. I remember thinking 25 was THE most perfect age, because for the first time in my life I felt somewhat settled. I look back on that and think, “settled? You were moving apartments about every year or so, you had already switched ‘careers’ three times since graduating from college, you were dating one wrong man after the other, and you were applying to grad school. SETTLED?” Maybe it was right after I got accepted into school or something that I felt that way.

  7. I loved 25! I asked friends to bring a quarter to my birthday celebration. :o) That was only 3 years ago though…not too much has changed. I do remember 21 seemed to be my pivotal age. I went from caring more about my social agenda to actually wanting to do well in school. Took me a few years…

  8. this was fun! I’d have to really think about 25, not because it’s so very far away but because a lot of my mid-twenties fall under my gr aduate school experience…25 was quite a bit like 27, really. Now 30 – 30 is fun!

  9. What a great piece. I got married at 22 and so empathise with what you said about ‘the wedding’. Who was it for? Bali and a wodge of cash would have been a far better option!

  10. Ooh, I love this meme. I especially liked what you said about “children bring their own plan”.

    You know, in my mind 25 feels like five minutes ago… but it’s now much longer ago than I care to admit to myself! How time flies.

    I believe you’ll write and publish novels too – I want to read them. And who wants to be a “young writer”?!

  11. My God, I read this post and I can’t remember what happened when I was twenty five. Then I realized that I didn’t even know what year it was when I was 25 and had to do higher math in order to figure out that it was 1978. I had been married for two years by that time and we had built our house, I know that much. I could write about this but I believe I would be making it all up. . .

  12. Hi Charlotte, its fun to reminisc.
    When I was 25 I thought I was as grown up as it gets and remember declaring to a girlfriend ‘from now on I will only date boys I would consider marrying’, I was fed up with dating for the hell of it by 25!

  13. 25. Nearly twenty years ago! I think you had a much more eventful year – and more historical! (Struggles to remember.)

    Ah. That would be the year I moved to Germany. Good things and bad things.

  14. I am visisting friends in the city I moved to when I was 25 years old. Your meme has inspired me to write up my own list in rememberance to that fine gal way-back-when. It is almost exactly 25 years ago that I came here.

  15. Twenty-five…I can’t remember that far back! But I was married when I was 24, and like you I wouldn’t do it the same way. I had a fairly meaningless ceremony and I’m sorry for it.

    Good thing your angel was on the job that day. I’ve had a “one inch more and…” car accident before, and it gave me added appreciation for our invisible helpers!

  16. Really enjoyed this post, thanks Charlotte!

  17. This is one of my favourite things that you have written. And I discovered that we are the same age as I also rememebr pretty vividly voting in the 1994 elections when I was 25! This has jogged my memory (which is always just waiting for an excuse to trawl back through the years anyway) and I may tag myself to do this meme. Thanks for your always-inspiring, beautiful writing.

  18. I’m so happy I came across this, now several years after you wrote it. I turned 25 eight days ago and I’m kind of doing research on the disenchantment and restlessness one feels around this age. I’ve certainly gained some insight in a different way than I expected from your post as well as all the comments.

    I hope all is well 4 years later!

  19. Pingback: When I Was 35 « Charlotte's Web

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