I’m not going to sugar coat the truth for you guys on this one: I’m a total birthday princess.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been totally insane about my birthday. As a kid, I’d make plans and send out invitations months in advance, and I even started making birthday wish lists with links, images, and level of priority (what a brat huh?)
My traditions have grown and developed as the years have gone by, and I don’t plan and obsess quite as much as I used to (or make lists at all for that matter), but my level of excitement hasn’t dulled much, and there are a few birthday traditions that I still hold near and dear. I love getting together with my friends and picking out a special dress just for the big day (usually the more glitter the better!) I always open my presents first thing in the morning in bed just like I always did with my parents back home, and I eat exactly what I want, all day, no matter how inappropriate my cravings (and yes, this usually means cake and ice cream for breakfast!)
But today, I’m 24, and for the first time, the joy I usually feel about my birthday is altered ever so slightly by the creeping in of anxiety and pressure. I’ve had a life changing year since last August: I jumped into my career with both feet, and I feel so lucky that I’ve been happy and successful in it so far. I’ve worked on so many incredible projects, had all sorts of magical adventures, and made so many wonderful new friends. I fostered dogs and helped them find homes, moved into a new apartment, learned a lot of information about beauty products and lipstick application, went vegan and then went back again (still struggling with that one), and dyed my hair about 15 different colours, all in the span of 365 days.
So why all the negativity?
The problem is, though I’m still really young, I get anxious that I’m running out of time. There are so many things I want to do, feel, see and hear during this short blur that is my one shot at life, and lately I’ve been feeling worried I’ll never be able to get it all done. I want to get married and start a family by 27 (I know, I’m crazy), but I also want to visit South East Asia in the next couple of years, and build my career and maybe even buy a house: is it even possible to do all of that in such a short period of time?
The answer is no, It probably isn’t possible, but looking back, that’s sort of the beauty of life isn’t it? I have done so many things I’ve expected and planned to do, but so many of my best memories have been built from spontaneity, from magical surprises and shocking heartbreaks. Whether I check off my little mental 20-something checklist, I think I need to remind myself that every year, in fact every minute of every day, is a gift, and all I can do is make the most of every second, and appreciate every passing moment.
At the end of the day, I really have no idea what 24 has in store for me, but if it’s even half as glittery and fun as 23 was, I can’t wait to find out.
Photos by Paige Boersma