I'm officially 26! Still got a diary but x

Dear Diary,

Your gal here turned 26 a week ago! Why have I not written sooner? Well, I've got to process such a thing these days you know? I'm at that awkward age where I feel too old to be in the normal nightclub but too young for the over 25's... where do I belong?? Also, have you ever noticed guys do not seem to be fazed or even have this issue at all? Swaggering in at 28, amongst 18 year old's and weirdly, their mentality actually fits in?? Meanwhile, for us girls, we are looking around feeling like we are in a nursery and accidentally catching the glance of a young boy (who's ID definitely has to be from a street corner or his da is a bouncer, he's no 18) thinking "I could actually be your mum hun, get back to your wee pals" when I was that age (once upon a time, back in the day babe lol xo) I don't remember everyone looking so young?? Like, WTF happened.

In my 25th year, I know loaaads of people must say things like this ok and well hi, because i'm now going to be joining them. But I honestly grew so much as a person this past year and admire the life lessons that came with. In the past year; I went on a date with a boy off a dating app, totally not expecting anything from it and now, almost a year on, i'm proud to say we are still annoying the sh*t out of each other and I still don't expect anything from it cause' i'll get the opposite am I right gals 😂💅?? Being in my first proper "adult" relationship is nice and it's good to feel settled in one aspect of my life because let's face it, dating and dating apps is awful and people are seen as too disposable these days which is so sad. I am so glad to have put those days behind me and actually get to focus on myself, whilst getting a wee hug (special hug? xo) at the end of the day! Have I, someone once so consumed by appearances, turned into one of those boak couples everyone hates? Absolutely! And I am totally okay with that.

I did a lot of new things this year. Got more independent, faced fears (and we aren't just talking about meeting your boyfriends parents here), tried new things, fell in love with old passions, one of which being blogging. I got into my fitness so much more, smashed personal bests and mostly importantly, I learned to be comfortable in my natural appearance and embraced it! Maybe it is an age thing but when I was younger I wouldn't even go to the shops in case someone god forbid, seen "natural me" were as, now i'm older, I feel like "it's okay being natural, and it's definitely okay to say you still feel pretty being such" like, why do we feel we will be judged to dare say we feel pretty when we are toned down from our usual glam selves? And why, do others hate on people so much for saying such? Perhaps it's their own insecurities but let your 'ol Aunty Lauren here let you know it's OKAY to feel pretty and say so! it doesn't make you arrogant or full of sh*t, it makes you accepting of your flaws and still liking yourself anyway and that is what people hate to see- someone accepting the things they themselves can't. I guess you could say that is something I myself learned this past year. I judged people a lot purely because I myself was just jealous if they felt a way in which I struggled to feel.

I'm excited to s