25th of September, 2015
Today is my birthday! 20 years old! OLD.
Sitting on the riverbank as the Big Ben strikes midnight, the Thames keeps flowing its ever-subtle pace and streetlights keep flickering in their night-time brightness. The world keeps moving the same as always. The difference is that I have made it to yet another moment after so many others and they are now all squeezed into me, my 20 year old existence.
It’s a perfect day, really. Perfect to stroll through Kensington Gardens. Olivia and I share a birthday and so, we take this day to share a certain satisfaction of being able to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens, to hug each other and share a laugh, to smell the roses and feel the sun on our skin. Our birthday cards say in gestures, isn’t this day lovely? Isn’t life? I’m glad you’re alive. That means you’re there for me to love.
So a birthday might bring about cake (a monstrously big one in my case), or an existential crisis, or perhaps some self-reflection. To me, 20 feels like a huge number but happily enough, it is full to the brim, as well. Full of promise and full of memories, happiness, friends, and absolutely everything. So I wouldn’t celebrate this birthday as an accumulation of years, but an ever-growing library of these moments, sunrises, sunsets, new friends, old friends, achievements and failures.
Looking back at my birthday weekend makes me happy to be 20. Of course, 20 is really only a technicality – one that means I’m technically obliged to receive cake and red wine.