At 25 (and a half)...

By Lucy Harbron - 21:49

I live in East London with 5 other girls, in the same house that I have for two years now.

My hair is newly dyed ginger, I love it.

My favourite things to wear are big trousers with tiny crop tops, my perfect pink ballet slippers or a little dress with a big blazer. I’m in a complex place with makeup and I’ve been trying to learn to do it differently. It’s going okay.

My favourite books of the year were I’m Glad My Mum Died, Good Pop, Bad Pop and Happening. My reading has slowed a lot but is picking back up.

I’m still a big film person. In the last year I especially loved Pearl, Barbie, Mistress America and Bones And All.

My favourite albums to sing in the shower are Preachers Daughter by Ethel Cain, anything by Phoebe Bridgers or Taylor Swift.

My favourite smell is still Karma perfume from Lush or the smell of a dance right as you blow it out.

My favourite things are movie nights alone with fresh cookies, negronis or dirty martinis, field trips with friends that involve dinner and dancing, going to gigs and getting a nice little coffee.

I’m in love with how writing feels at the moment, the friends I’ve made over the last year and silly pretty things.

I sleep on my left side with a scruffy bear tucked under one arm and a newer bear by my tummy.

To self-soothe, I stroke my side with my finger, do yoga or stay busy. I’ve had to do a lot of that lately.

I’m still, STILL trying to drink more water. I want to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier.

My 25 birthday was lost in a void of hefty heartbreak. The first half of 2023 feels like a black hole. A deep pit. A big walk out of hell and I’m only just realising that if I don’t look back, I’ll make it out. It’s hard to celebrate when sadness like that has it’s claws in you, it makes everything relate back to the heartbreak – but I tried. I wore a t-shirt with Miffy on it, did yoga, bought myself pastries and called my mum. I ate tacos with my friends, screamed when they brought me out a cake with candles and laughed till my sides hurt at comedy. 


Every year feels like a lesson in resilience and I think at 25 (and a half), I’m coming to understand that’s what life is. Bree tells me that when I go to hers and we wax lyrical on the balcony, having one drink and staring at her twinkly eyed with awe. I look round at the friends I’ve made over the last year, more than I have since the first year I started uni, and I see all their strength. On valentine’s day, two months before my birthday and right in the depth of the pain, I painted place names for my table and knew every guest had felt this. I had friends come over and check on me, I spoke to my mum about what it felt like to her back then, I slowly ate more and woke up less afraid. I’m coming to realise that resilience isn’t a big trait, it’s not the burden I once felt it as, it’s just living. It feels so heavy at the time. I remember feeling winded by my life but now in October I look back at April and remember the big gasps of air as I giggled with my friends and talked to them to get through it. I was still there breathing, I’m still here breathing.


The whole – the 25th revolve around the sun from last April to this – felt punctuated over and over by loss! And loss? And loss… I lost a love, lost friends, lost a job. I lost writing for a long time. I lost track of what I thought I wanted to fill my time with and lost the thrill of going outside and living silly, in favour of staying home and living safe. 


But the half, the semi-circle from April to today, has been my most joyful age despite it all. I don’t remember feeling joy so viscerally before. But now it’s fizzy and real. I go to gigs and come home aching from dancing. I go on nights out and let the next day start around me, still out and enjoying it. I let my weekends be wide open and trust that fun will find me, friends will be there, something nice will come up and it does – I go for walks, I look at art, I drink and know no one expects much more than that. 


I think I like it. I think I’m happy again. I think I’m ready to document that, put it on record.


And as for my wishes – a tattoo, a haircut and a holiday – I had them all and blew out the candle asking simply for more.

  • Share:

You Might Also Like


Talk to me...