At what age do we ‘find ourselves’? A survey says 31, but birthday boy Andrew Papworth (31 today) begs to differ

Andrew Papworth, editor for the EDP in South and West Norfolk. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Andrew Papworth, editor for the EDP in South and West Norfolk. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

So it seems I have less than 12 hours to 'find myself'.

Andrew Papworth once dressed up as a clown - about the wackiest thing he has ever done. But he still

Andrew Papworth once dressed up as a clown - about the wackiest thing he has ever done. But he still didn't find himself. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Apparently 31 is the age that people from East Anglia finally know who they are and feel comfortable in their skin, according to research commissioned by My Nametags.

I was born at around 10pm on March 21, 1986 – so I don't have much time.

Most people discover themselves by going to university, backpacking around the world or having some crazy and wacky experiences.

Aside a couple of holidays to the United States in my teenage years, I've done none of that.

I went straight into journalism at the age of 18 and have been nose to the grindstone ever since – and it's a little short notice to jet off to Australia or South America now, or achieve a degree.

Unusually for a journalist I've never touched a drop of alcohol or smoked, so I haven't got up to the drunken antics of many of my peers.

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The only slightly crazy thing I did was dress up as a clown last year – but even that was in the name of journalism for a feature I was writing about the entertainment profession. Spur of the moment it wasn't.

According to the survey of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom, by 31 the typical East Anglian will have refined their tastes in music and have seven close friends.

The fact I'm maybe a little embarrassed to reveal my musical tastes or who my friends are suggests I might have a bit of work to do on both counts.

There is some comfort though – I'm in the 36pc of people who have cultivated their television and film preferences.

Unfortunately that preference is that I rarely watch television – Homeland aside, which I'm addicted to.

It's also a running joke in offices where I've worked that I've had a popular culture bypass, because I've seen very few of the so-called must-see films. I really have never seen Star Wars.

Like 25pc of East Anglians, I have also developed my tastes in literature. I read avidly, but always non-fiction – I can't stand fiction full of flowery imagery where authors can't seem to say what they mean.

I suppose I'm also in the third of people who know what their fashion preferences are – if you count not being fashionable as a preference.

However I'm not in the 35pc at ease with driving. Give me my trusty bicycle any day of the week.

In all seriousness, I don't believe we ever 'find' or 'lose' ourselves (according to the survey we 'lose' ourselves by the age of 58).

Life is a constant journey and we all change and adapt as we go – I read that in non-fiction book, clearly, rather than discovering it on a round-the-world trip.

I think though that, deep down, we all know where our strengths and weaknesses are and our personal preferences – and I guess I am just as quirky, weird and individual as the next person.

But in any case, perhaps none of it matters – because, according to the survey, 36 is the age that the typical East Anglian will worry least about what people think of them.

So in five years time, I won't even care.

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