Hello again :)
As some of you know I have recently celebrated a birthday. I am now officially no longer a teenager.
For some, turning twenty doesn't mean much. It's the second half of the gap between eighteen and twenty-one and results in few celebrations.
For me - twenty is the birthday I have been craving for years. Turning twenty feels like the biggest change in my life since the turmoil of my teen years.
I want my twenties to mean something, to be more significant in the scope of my life than merely a decade of 'learning and failing'. I suffered greatly through my teens, a lot of which was due to my own shortcomings, but I still suffered. I failed repeatedly and struggled uphill for what felt like an eternity with nothing but a slick cliff face below me at all times.
From 10-20 I spent a lot of time making mistakes, learning from them and then making them again. I reinvented myself, fell for stupid boys, learnt about what drove me and inspired me, found and lost supposed 'life-long' friends, started uni, dropped out and started again, moved out of home, started paying bills, became an adult and started working full time while still being treated like a child.
My teen years felt very much like I was floating in the middle of the ocean, treading water for so long my lungs and legs ached and then jumping onto every piece of floating debris I could find. Some that almost sank me and some that only provided temporary support before disappearing below the waves.
I failed to see the support of my family as anything more than another of these temporary life rafts and as such pushed those away that could have provided the most stable of help.
But I learnt a lot.
This new decade of my life feels like the freedom I've been craving. It feels like the small island finally seen in the distance and the idea of solid land beneath my feet is a desperation I never knew I could want so much.
I've spent years telling myself that everything will get better when I'm older. People will take me more seriously, I'll be treated as an equal among my peers, my life will begin.
Now I am the 'older' that my younger self promised would spell the solution.
I don't want to pretend to think that I'm more mature or somehow a fully formed adult from who I was a few months ago at nineteen. Of course I'm still learning and I hope that learning never ends. But I also refuse to keep blinding stepping out onto the cliff face and failing again. I won't continue surging ahead without security or rational planning (like I have been - sorry dad).
I want to enjoy my twenties, but not so much that they become "the best decade" in my memories. I want my twenties to be a springboard to the rest of my life.
I have the opportunity for my dreams to become my reality in a way that I may never have again offered to me so freely and openly.
I have spent so long wishing to be older, to be successful and finished with the challenges that are a necessary part of life.
But now, this decade, I want to learn to appreciate the work more. To focus on each and every day and what it means and where it's taking me.
I don't know where I will be at thirty or what I will be doing, and that terrifies me in a way that only those who share this fear can understand. But I know what I want to achieve and for now that is enough to fuel me.
I can't prepare for what I don't know but I can prepare for the next day and then the day after that and so on until one day I'll be sitting on a porch of my own knowing I gave this complicated, confusing thing called life the best crack I could and enjoyed every moment with very few regrets.
I'm ready for this next chapter and I'm excited to see where it takes me.
Till next time,