1.) Being single and unemployed in your late twenties
Being single in your late
twenties does not mean that you will never amount to anything, or that you’ll
have to live out the rest of your days in my parents’ basement, emerging
blinking into the light just in time for your night-shift at the local ESSO
garage. (Ironically, of course, you will not be able to afford a car, and
therefore your ‘employee discount’ will go to waste). So you’re picky? So what?
It’s good to be picky. Maybe you’ll get married, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll
be rich (unlikely, but surprises are good), and maybe you’ll always run out of
money a week before payday. Does it, in the grand scheme of things, really
2.) Eating that Snickers bar.
If you choose to eat a snickers
bar, it does not mean that you will never be able to have children, or that you
ill-gotten children will be feral and ASBO-festooned tearaways. Nor will you
become immediately obese or get cancer. All those things MIGHT happen (and I
hope they don’t), but not because you popped into Londis for a blood sugar
boost when you had a hangover.
3.) Your kids turning out shitty
If certain media is to be
believed, this will all be down to you being a working mother. Or a helicopter
parent. Or somewhere in the middle. You can’t win, so ignore them and don’t
try. To be honest, I have never worried about my (hypothetical) kids being
anything but truly, magnificently excellent. ‘Don’t watch ‘We need to talk
about Kevin’, My friend told me anxiously. ‘You’ll panic about what you might
give birth to.’ ‘I won’t,’ I replied staunchly. ‘I already know exactly what my
kids are going to be like. Tremendous.’
4.) Marrying the wrong person
People seem frantically worried
about this. I’m not sure why. All you need to do is find someone who is kind,
thinks you’re hilarious, and will always bring you a sausage sandwich when
you’re hungover. In an ideal world, they would also like the other part of the
chicken to you, but marriage is all about compromise. Sometimes, you simply
have to buy two chickens.
YOU’LL BE INVISIBLE! INVISIBLE!
AND NO ONE WILL WANT TO SHAG YOU! Actually, FYI, I’ve been preparing for
old-lady sex my entire life. It will be spectacularly effortless. I can’t wait.
Are you afraid of never finding
love, and everyone else coupling off and leaving you? I mean, obviously they
won’t leave you all alone forever- they’ll still need you to bitch about their
partners, babysit their kids, housesit their lovely family home whilst they
take idyllic vacations, and you’ll certainly be invited to all the dinners and
parties and so on, but you’ll have no-one to dissect these events with, or to
fetch you a glass of water the morning after. Basically, you’re not worried
about this at all- you’re worried that you’ll forget to pay the water bill, and
that your hangover will never go away. The worry is actually about water
supply, not love. You’re basically Bono.
You’re not Bono. The impending
environmental apocalypse, Third World drought, overpopulation and nuclear
holocaust are all valid concerns. Worrying about them does not make you a twat,
or, as the loveable James Dellingpole at The Telegraph would have it, a deluded
climate change evangelist. You’re green on the outside but RED ON THE INSIDE.
YOU’RE A COMMUNIST! You dirty Pinko hippie, it’s all made up nonsense, and we
can carry on milking the earth’s natural resources faster than a six year old
whose mother won’t stop breastfeeding, and it’ll all be A-OK. IGNORE THIS, and
go to the Guardian for environmental info in future. Yes, it’s scary. But it’s
a more productive use of your time than worrying that your eyebrows aren’t
Newspapers have a tendency of
making you worry that everyone else is making sneaky financial plans and that
you’re the only one who isn’t. This doesn’t matter at all at the moment,
as nobody I know has any money whatsoever and those who have even a few quid
are forced to spend it feeding and watering their poorer friends in a ‘forced
and entirely grudging Robin Hood-type model’, but I think it will matter enormously
in the future. To avoid this, I have been asking my friends about their pension
and ISA plans, but everyone has been deflecting with blank stares and confused
faces. Turns out, no one has their shit sorted.
I have never met ONE person who
is worried about this. Women I know who have children and a career almost never
speak of ‘having it all’. They are too busy. In fact, very little of what I see
in mainstream media corresponds with what I see in my actual, real-life life. I
am yet to meet anyone who ‘eats what they want, but just keeps active and is a
healthy size 4!’ So you can stop worrying about that, too.
10.) Things no longer being fun
They will be. If only because we
won’t all be worrying so much. I imagine we will waste most of our adult
lives still panicking about this, but there must come a time, when we’re tucked
in our futuristic beds, gnawing on post sex roast chicken with a plentiful
supply of water, our angelic children asleep in their rooms, that we realise that
everything’s going to be OK. Well, better late than never.
See? There’s no reason to be
afraid. We, as educated, independent, informed women, are in the best position
possible to create happy futures for ourselves. We have choices- real,
meaningful choices that good women and men fought for us to have. We have
possibilities- possibilities which include refusing to accept a single path
leads to happiness and success. We do not have to accept the fear they are
trying to make obligatory. Douglas Coupland, in his novel ‘Generation X’ speaks
of a ‘paralysis of choice’- the inability to make a decision because it means
turning your back on other options. I don’t care what choices you make- but be
brave enough to make them. And today, right now, make the choice to stop being
afraid. Maybe everything will be OK, and maybe it will be dreadful. But at
least you had the courage to make your own choices. And that, in and of itself,
is a tremendously good shield against fear. Believe it, ladybros.