BIRTHDAY REFLECTIONS

23

23

I celebrated my 23rd birthday last year in sweltering hot Cartagena on the Colombian coast eating in a restaurant that was way too fancy for our budget travel – travel budget. I cannot believe that almost an entire year has past since we were trying to get some relief from the insane heat in our air conditioned room after the sweaty walk home.

On the other hand, life one year on is very, very different.

I’m a “young professional” now (does that word make you gag slightly too?), after writing  about 1 million application letters, living in the city I decided was for me at the tender age of 12 after a visit with my family.
(The pictures from that trip suggest I was an extremely shy child, but really I was just trying to hide my swollen lip and in scabs covered right halve of my face that I acquired after a playground fall. Clumsy and uncoordinated on the other hand? Yes and still very much so, thanks.)

I also share a flat with a significant other and a few pets (mice, so cute…), have a joint bank account and am getting very organised at doing a weekly shop.

When did I become such a fucking adult?

Reassuringly saving up for my pension is not yet at front of my mind, I don’t care about ironing my clothes and still buy cheap wine because I can’t taste the difference anyway (or let’s be honest: can’t afford anything better).

I think what I’m trying to say here is that it is the strangest of times. I feel like a teenager who still doesn’t really have a long-term plan, but at the same time my Facebook newsfeed is full of engagement announcements and pregnant bellies of peers who give off that “settling down cause we’ve got it together”-vibe.

And what’s next?

I do not have it together. I don’t want to. I want some more room for trial and error. I want to feel truly feel at home in London. I want to grow roots deep enough for it to hurt when I leave.

I want to save up enough money to travel once more, because travelling didn’t make me find myself, but it sure as hell taught me that it’s fun. WaNderLust ForEver and all that.

I want to love fully and foolishly. Act like children in a nice restaurant, because nobody needs to be sophisticated all the time (or any time). Argue about who is doing the washing up (actually I don’t want to do that, but maybe I’ve just resigned to reality?).

I want to kill ALL the mice in my apartment.

And write more!

And have more self-discipline about writing!

Twenty-three was a growing year. A year to get back on my feet and into the swing of what I guess is ‘normal life’.

Kind of a growing up year.

Let’s do some more of that, and a little more of the opposite.

24 tomorrow, let’s do this.

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