‘Nobody likes you when you’re 23’

Having just watched the second tick over to midnight and mentally whispering myself happy birthday, I am officially 23 – if you want to be really specific my birthday doesn’t start until 4:10 in the morning but who counts that!

So what does being 23 actually mean…

Another year, another trip around the sun.  I’ve seen 8,395 days give or take but the next 365 feel all the more important. I can’t say I’m happy about turning 23, it feels so much older than 22, more adult. It’s made me think a lot about growing up.

One day, we wake up and realise we aren’t children anymore. I can’t claim that it’s some moment that we remember, that loss of innocence – well not a loss, it is hopefully something quite organic for most of us, an inevitability.

We grow up. We grow old.

The funny thing is as kids we can’t wait to grow up – we play ‘house’, we act out getting married and we plan who we’ll be ‘when we’re older’. Then boom you’re an adult and being ‘grown up’ isn’t all you dreamed it would be. We find that the only thing we really want is our youth and our innocence, and to be tucked into bed by our parents under the comfort of glow in the dark stars.

23 feels like  a weird age.  It’s a time of firsts: first job, first car, first glimpse into the adult world.  Firsts are scary, an unknown territory – and a lot of the time I feel adrift, uprooted and disconnected. I don’t think many people know who they are at 23.

Nobody really mentions the difficulty of carving your own way in this world – it’s like the universe handed you a spoon and said dig a trench.  It takes time, sweat, tears, hard work and determination.  I’m kind of treading water trying to find my own private island – make my own life for myself – it’s difficult.

So in the spirit of finding out who 23-year-old me is I’ve decided to make a list.

In my post the post-graduate funk I wrote about ‘getting my crap together’ and gave a list of things I aimed to do by the end of the year…well I’m happy to say I ticked them all off *pauses for applause*.

Have a job

-Have travelled somewhere

-Go to a concert or three

-Go to the theatre

-Learn to drive

So here’s my next one…

So this year I intend to:

  • Read 100 books – My total stands at 1/100
  • Cook more/learn a few new recipes
  • (This one is for my mum) Join a dating website and actually date people – Lord help the man who clicks on my profile
  • Learn a language or have some form of competence in something other than English – I’ve decided to take up Spanish
  • Take a class – I’m thinking specifically art – pot making or possibly jewellery making
  • Start my travel plans or go on my own holiday
  • To blog more
  • And last but not least get fit – I have taken my first steps on this path by booking a consultation with a personal trainer (eek) – I thought getting all red and sweating in front of someone else would be a great idea.

And I’ll leave you with this quote:

“On occasion, it occurs to adults that they are allowed to do all the things that being a child prevented them from doing. But those desires change when you’re not looking. There was a time when your favourite colour transferred from purple to blue to whatever shade it is when you realise having a favourite colour is a trite personality crutch, an unstable cultivation of quirk and a possible cry for help. You just don’t notice the time of your own metamorphosis. Until you do. Every once in a while time dissolves and you remember what you liked as a kid. You jump on your hotel bed, order dessert first, decide to put every piece of jewellery you own on your body and leave the house. Why? Because you can. Because you’re the boss. Because… Ooooh. Shiny.” — Sloane Crosley

I’m off to don all my bracelets and eat cake for breakfast. Peace out.

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