For those not in the know, although where have you been?, ‘Harry’s House’ is the new album released in 2022 from the man himself Harry Styles. Now, like many other women in their early twenties, I feel the most pivotal moments of my adolescence are grounded within the One Direction albums. In fact just the other day I listened to the entire Midnight Memories album on a drive and I felt an instant connection to my 14 year old self. I have the best memories from being a complete fan girl and hearing those songs now just brings back so much laughter. Whilst I have wholeheartedly adored both of Harry’s other solo albums, I didn’t necessarily feel that initial intense attachment. The first morning in our new home I decided to listen to the album in full, as I had done 101 times already, as I worked my way round the house unpacking boxes. It was 45 seconds into Matilda that I found myself uncontrollably sobbing.
The most difficult part of my twenties, so far, has been trying to communicate to others how I feel about certain experiences; hence, this whole blog. Your twenties is where you begin to walk your own completely individualised path. For the first time you can no longer directly relate to your friends as you don’t necessarily hold those shared anxieties, not in the same capacity as when you were in school, and even if you do share a worry it’s more than likely you’re coming from opposing experiences and routes. It feels impossible sometimes to effectively communicate how and why you’re feeling a certain way. Even to your best friend, your partner, or to your mum.
This album, the majority of it anyway, felt as if my whole life and thought processes were being laid open to the world. It was as if I was hearing the multitude of thoughts and emotions in my head being told back to me. It made me feel safe, heard, understood and, ironically, as if I was home.
You can start a family who will always show you love, you don’t have to be sorry for doing it on your own.
When I moved away to university the distance between myself and home allowed me to look back and re-evaluate basically everything that had ever happened to me. I felt as if I’d persistently pushed down and refused to deal with a lot of issues specifically in my teenage years and once I’d put over a 100 miles between myself and Sheffield they all began to resurface. It led me to distancing myself, a hell of a lot, from family and 4 years on I am still learning how to navigate through the fractures that are present in those relationships. I think relationships with parents or grandparents or even perhaps siblings, although I wouldn’t know that for myself, are really difficult to talk about to others as they’re such complicated and individualised relationships. I always felt that it was dishonourable to talk about my family in any way other than extremely positive as I felt others would judge if I said hey actually I am not totally happy with the relationships I have.
‘Matilda’ feels as if it was created from the thoughts buried deep inside my mind that I choose to lock away from everybody. I remember my boyfriend once telling me, this is not ok and you are justified in how you are feeling and hearing those words felt as if someone had swept the carpet from underneath my feet. This song had that same effect on me. It touches on that pivotal moment in your twenties when you fully branch out from the cocoon of what you’ve always known as home and begin to create your own.
You got a new life. Am I bothering you? Do you wanna talk?
One thing I have found most difficult in my twenties is friendship. You leave school and find all these people you held so dear all wander out on to different paths and you find them becoming strangers whose lives you see glimpses of through a phone screen. I find often I will think deeply about people, wonder about how they are, how their families are and I will feel such intense grief over the memories we had together. I feel there’s a voice always nagging me in my head saying ‘just reach out’ but, it’s never as easy as that is it? You are no longer the person you were and neither are they, I often feel that there isn’t a place for me in their life anymore. Nothing makes me happier, nothing, than when an old friend pops up on my texts and lets me know they were watching a movie they knew I used to love and it made them think of me or that they just had an urge to check in. I’ve found myself making more of a conscious effort to do so and whether it’s met with love or neutrality it doesn’t really matter. Satellite perfectly speaks to these very thought processes and I can’t help but envision a few very specific faces when I listen to it.
It gets hard to know what he’s thinking, you a love a fool who knows just how to get under your skin.
The beauty of being in a long-term relationship in your early twenties is watching each other grow and evolve as a person. I met my boyfriend, of four years, when I was 18 and he was 19. In that relatively short amount of time we’ve seen each other through degrees, a global pandemic, bereavement, first jobs, rejection, illness, success and well just about everything. We’re getting to intimately witness each other grow, mature and begin to create the life we want. It’s a really beautiful thing, in my opinion, to see so many different versions of each other but it’s sometimes really bloody hard. I think it’s a complete myth that you just automatically and eternally understand everything about your significant other. I remember when James first began his job. Suddenly we no longer had that shared anxiety of essays, exams and stretching out student loans. I no longer knew what he was really up to on a day to day basis and when he would come home in the evenings completely exhausted and stressed out I would feel like I was completely inadequate in making him feel better- which shocked me completely. We began to clash as for the first time in our relationship there was that distance between us leading to miscommunications. It’s taken time, almost 2 years, to settle and adjust to those new routines and for us both to get used to knowing these new versions of each other. There were moments where I became really frustrated and it took me time to realise that these are normal emotions in a relationship and it’s all about re-adjusting and making the effort to be there for each.
A bottle of rouge, just me and you.
I feel really lucky that whilst I navigate through my twenties and through the various life stages that come within the decade I have a constant in James. There is so much change in your twenties in almost every single aspect of your life and that’s completely overwhelming. As I said before, I feel as if your situations are continuously evolving in your twenties and in a small space of time you are confronted with multiple different versions of your self. I think your twenties are all about finding and building your home, whether that is literally with regards to where you live or whether it is in the friendships you create, the routines you hold dear or maybe even found within the pages of a book or in the lyrics of a song. For me, my home is with James and wherever we are together (and where we more than likely have a bottle of red wine to hand).