Today is my twenty-first birthday, I actually don’t feel much different to how I was feeling last year, but also this time last year I was staying in a cosy AirBnB right in central Lisbon with my boyfriend and I’d flown in the day before so I was probably feeling a little bit more euphoric. Truth be told, lately I’ve been feeling a little worried about getting older. Not in the sense of I’m so old! to which everyone 20 years my senior will be scolding me over, but in the sense that I haven’t really got my ish together and I still feel like I’m learning how to adult.
I am happy though. Actually, I’d say these past twelve months have been my happiest even if there has been lots of down times, there’s also been lots of high times and celebrations, happiness and love shared. I’m a lot less skeptical about the world and maybe I have some rose tinted glasses on, but I’m feeling into myself.
I was going to do a 21 things I’ve learned in 21 years type post, but I realised that every year is a new learning curve regardless, there’s things that I want to achieve over the next twelve months and things that last year, I never thought were possible or would happen for me, that did. We can’t predict what the next twelve months will be like, because nobody knows. This past year was my best in terms of my blog and how I’ve been feeling as a whole. When I was a little girl, I’d look up to people in their twenties and watch movies where the main protagonist is celebrating their big 21st birthday, they all seemed to have their lives together, drove around in the best cars and were walking head high into a corporate job. Realistically, that’s just not possible for a lot of us, so we work with what we have. I’ve walked into my twenty first year with my blog doing the best it’s done in years, with growing and increasing stats, I’ve walked into my twenty first year finally understanding how to stand up for myself and silence toxicity. I’ve walked into my twenty first year with someone I love with my whole heart, and I’ve walked into my twenty first year with my most level head yet.
Looking back, this past twelve months have been the best of my life so far – I’ve been back and forth between England and Portugal, I saw my aunt get married and I’ve hit the little, yet meaningful milestones I’d set with my blog, and even though I’m sad that this year I’m not in a pretty AirBnB in Lisbon, I am with my family and celebrating with my little niece.
I feel like when you hit the age of twenty one it’s almost like the turning point; not in your life but definitely in your outlook. I’ve been thinking about how when my mum was my age, she had just bought a house and was a mother of two, it was easier done back then obviously because of the times being different, but she did it – right now I’m in the process of moving on, but I definitely don’t have two babies and I haven’t bought a house. I’m also not where I want to be career wise, I’m not upset about the fact just because I’m working on it, and I’ve been working on it for a while, but I do feel like I need to do something to solidify twenty one and have my life in shape in some way. Maybe it’s the movie stereotypes and the looking up to your own parents who had it a lot differently in the 90s, but I definitely have a longing for something to happen.
Birthdays are a weird thing though, as you contemplate your life and enter your annual existential crisis whilst everyone surrounds a cake singing to you, there’s also a sense of satisfaction, the: I did it, I made it through another year, I made it through all of the ups and all of the downs and here I am, another year older, wiser and I’ve accomplished this.
The downs in my year haven’t been too many (thank God), but I have had things weighing on my chest, people weighing me down and a sense of “Everyone is walking all over me,” at times. This is something that I’ve grown with though because I recently kicked the habit, silenced myself from those bringing me down and I decided to look back on the positives: All the weeks spent in Lisbon, all of the Monday’s spent with my niece and all of the blog opportunities that were presented to me this year. It’s been a good one, and here I am, aged twenty one.