What happened to 22? On birthdays and the year that was.

Birthday Alex

Yesterday was my 23rd birthday, so naturally I had a cold and spent most of it snivelling. I mean, who gets colds when it’s warm outside? Oh yeah, I do. On my birthday.

Due to my cold I wandered about the day in a fog, not quite aware of what was going on. I felt curiously detached from my birthday; if it wasn’t for the various reminders via Facebook, I may have completely forgotten about it. I woke up this morning and  thought, ‘Huh. Did my birthday even happen?’

(What with evening classes at uni, I just had an afternoon tea with my family. This weekend will be the celebratory boozy night out with mates!)

Birthday Highlight One: my friend Laura (who I left behind in London) sent me beautiful flowers. The only downside is she wasn’t accompanying them.

Birthday Highlight Two: my friend Nat created me the best new profile picture ever! It’s the one at the top of this post.

Every year, I like to look back and list what I’ve achieved. I don’t know, I think it calms me. That even though I spent a ridiculous amount of time reading, and falling down the rabbit hole that is the internet, that I’m somehow moving forward with my life. That all the little things added up to something.

Here is what happened when I was 22:

  1. I started my Masters.
  2. I moved from London to Sydney.
  3. I went snowboarding in Austria.
  4. I also travelled to France, Budapest, Vienna and the Greek Islands.
  5. I was published. For the first time in my life, I saw my name! In a newspaper! Next to lots of words that I HAD WRITTEN!
  6. I also conducted my first interview, covered my first event, did my first casual name drop of the paper (it was a press night for a play. As it turns out, they wanted my name, not my publication.)
  7. I dyed my hair pink. Several times. I got quite good at it.
  8. I quit two jobs and gained two jobs.
  9. I scored an internship at a place I love.
  10. I weighed the heaviest I have ever weighed. That’s okay – I also rejoined the gym.
  11. I dated four boys and ended things with four boys. I realised how different dating is once you become an adult. I also realised I am only attracted to men who are wildly inappropriate for me. Bugger.
  12. I learnt how to fish-tail plait. My life will never be the same.
  13. I’ve distanced myself from toxic friendships.
  14. I’ve made some lovely new friendships.
  15. I learnt how to stand up for myself as a woman. I learnt not to smile and apologise if a guy is being creepy or inappropriate. I learnt to say enough is enough and walk away with my head held high. I learnt that sometimes men act in a way that is not okay. I learnt how to deal with it.

Thinking about it, that last point is possibly the single most important thing that happened this year. But that’s a post for another day.

How about you? Do you create mental lists of what has or hasn’t happened? 


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