Lauren, 32, designer

I’ll be turning 33 this year and I’m finally beginning to settle into my 30s. As a woman, I’ve felt societal pressure to settle and have babies, which has made it hard to distinguish between what I actually want and what is expected of me.

I often think back to the summer after I finished my A-levels. It was a time of fun, relaxation and discovery and I felt I had the world at my fingertips. I now see that I was very much ‘present’ during that period, which is a powerful insight into why I look back with such fondness.

Obsessively checking social media and being online is a bad and seemingly unbreakable habit of mine. Remembering life pre-internet and when shops were shut on Sundays makes me feel nostalgic for a slower and less connected way of life that the younger generation have never experienced.

My mum is a very strong woman – emotionally wise, fiercely loyal and very cultured. My dad is very creative, philosophical and a real problem-solver. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams and haven’t conditioned me in terms of what male or female roles should be either in a relationship or a career, which makes me feel very empowered.

I also met someone, aged 27, who has provided me with unfaltering stability, positivity and a light, humorous way of looking at the world, we married in July. Slowly approaching 33, I feel grateful for all I have in my life and can visualise a very colourful adventure ahead.

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