I turned 23 on the 18th of August 2017. My 23rd birthday was a true joy. I spent the day with my nearest and dearest friends and family members. I woke up early and watched The Breakfast Club by myself, a new birthday tradition that I’ll continue to do, even when I’m old and grey. I went wandering around bookstores and ate gluten free cake in my favourite cafe with my Chummy. I spent time at home with my parents, who reminisced about the day I was born and spoke about how the past 23 years flew by. I chatted to my Nanny and my Mam’s best friend over warm cups of tea at the kitchen table. I met my bestie and fellow Gossip Girl enthusiast in the city where we drank cocktails and gossiped and giggled over foolish couples in a bar that played tacky chart music. I ended the day at home, where I shared a bag of chipper chips with my parents in our living room.
Birthdays mean a lot to me, and not because of the presents, but because it marks a fresh start, a brand new year. My birthday is like my own mini New Years celebration. There may not be a countdown in Times Square and fireworks don’t light up the sky above Sydney, but every year on August 18th I am filled with a sense of joy and relief. I let the mistakes and regrets and difficult memories of the past year wash away, and focus on the year ahead, my 23rd year on the planet. I become a more motivated and ambitious person once the clock strikes 12 and August 18th rolls around.
My 22nd year was pretty special. I traveled a lot more. I completed my studies in college. I wrote for even more publications. I started drinking coffee and reading more and dyed my hair auburn. I grew closer to my parents and went on solo cinema trips and took part in the mini marathon. I became happier and a tad bit chubbier and more determined to succeed. I made new friends and cut ties with toxic people. I became features editor of our college newspaper, I fell in love with La La Land and drank pina coladas in the city. I achieved many goals, but failed too. I learnt a lot and grew as a person (but sadly not in height, I’m still 5″3).
So, here’s to 23; the year where I hope to find a job I adore, the year where I want to travel alone, the year where I’ll meet new people, and visit new places. The year where I’ll read so many more books and watch stories unfold at the cinema. The year where I’ll go to concerts and to the theatre and to the sea. The year where I’ll spend quality time with my friends and family. 23 will be the year of improvement and determination, but most importantly the year where I’ll be content and carefree.