Birthday

twenty-something.

Reflecting on the past year with some assistance from T. Swizzle. 

Image
This is not me. I have not walked on any train tracks over the past year.

This is my last week of being 22.

Birthdays always seem to dawn on me somewhat unexpectedly, which is awkward seeing as they are an annual thing… the occurring-on-the-same-day-every-year kind of annual.

Anyway.

I have to start by saying that I was really honoured that a song was written just for me to coincide with my twenty second year of existence. #soblessed #thankstaylor #omgitsallaboutme

Taylor, where would I have been without your words to guide me through the past year? Where, Taylor? Where?!

I guess being on the cusp of 23 means that I’m definitely a twenty-something now – my ‘early twenties’ are slipping away. Brace yourself, the ‘early-mid twenties’ are coming… Yes, I talk to myself like I live in Westeros. Oh, Alex.

After nearly three whole years of being in my twenties, here’s my limited understanding of what being a twenty-something is about:

  • Being either fairly or very broke.
  • Being somewhat discontent with life as an adult (thanks for filling me with optimism, pop culture).
  • Alcohol (consumption).
  • One part youthful optimism to one part growing cynicism.
  • Being a bit lost.
  • Flitting back and forth between living in and out of your family home.
  • Travel. As much travel as possible.
  • Change – both as a person and in the paths that you choose.
  • Self-doubt.
  • Questions.
  • Identity carving and creating.
  • Doing stupid things that you can only really get away with in your twenties.
  • Real adult relationships.
  • Real adult problems.
  • Relishing every moment before you have major life-long commitments (see: spouse, children).
  • Desperately trying to get your shit together… and in the meantime, maintaining the facade that you do…

So, if that’s what being in your twenties is about, then I guess I’m giving it a fair crack… well, I’m attempting to give it a fair crack… which has to count for something, right?

In writing this post I’ve studied the lyrics of Taylor’s poptastic hit in closer detail. And I’m genuinely surprised to report back that I think she actually knows more about being 22 than I previously thought. That sounded mean and as though Taylor is an airhead with no life experience – which was not intended – I just feel that her life is quite different to mine, seeing as I didn’t win a Grammy when I was 22… Ahh and moving on.

Upon a tad more reflection on my part, to say that my experience of being 22 was of being “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time” wouldn’t actually be too far off. Well, in the sense that it was a year of contrasting elements.

My year was…
Challenging
Successful
Crazy
Stressful
Fun
A struggle
Full of “face palm” moments
Rough
Uneventful
Quotidien
Exciting
Adventurous
Littered with unhealthy habits

It was filled with both yearning and contentment. It had some pretty terrible patches, paired with some pretty great moments, too. Despite it all, I find it comforting that I feel that I’m growing as a person and that I know myself better with every passing year. Hopefully I’m also becoming a better version of myself. This is debatable. My parents would argue that I am not. #thedisappointingchild

Honestly, I would’ve liked more out of my year; to be able to say that 22 was a BIG YEAR – a turning point (to who knows what), a time I could look back on and say that that was when something brilliant/awesome/life-changing began. However, it just felt like another year. And I have to say that that mentality scares me. I’m meant to be treasuring my twenties, not just letting them fly by flippantly. 

Ugh. I think I’m doing my twenties wrong.

Well, that sentence was really poorly structured, Alex, so yes, I would agree with your sentiments. 

See what I said about contrasts? The way I feel about something can change in the time it takes me to write a blog post.

Well, despite there being a fair chunk of change on my horizon, at least I feel much more peaceful than I did a year ago. My guess is that “the future” is going to be a significant theme in this coming year seeing as it’s my penultimate year at uni and I’m about to throw myself out into the big kid world. So, it’s also a year of preparation, exploring options, creating opportunities and deciphering dreams.

Image
But did I?? Am I?? Thanks. Now I’m stressing myself out again. Just what I needed.

 

It’s miserable and magical
Oh yeahhhhh
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the heartbreaks
It’s time…

I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me but I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re 22

It feels like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene
It feels like one of those nights

We won’t be sleeping
It feels like one of those nights
You look like bad news, I gotta have you

****

Now I just have to figure out what “dancing like we’re 22” looks like.

Wish me luck.

Alex x

Advertisements

les faux pas.

Image
This little bubba has turned six months old! Roughly. Whatever. Who actually needs an excuse to eat cake?

The vast majority of the time we use the French phrase “faux pas” to refer to a social blunder or awkwardness caused by not conforming to what society has deemed the norm. However, when you translate it directly from the French, “faux pas” means “false step” (although I think you could also say “misstep” or “incorrect step”). When it’s translated like that it makes me think of someone strolling blundering along their path in life (ooooh, deep and meaningful and we’re only in the first paragraph! Shut up, Alex.) It is a mistake, a trip on a rock you didn’t see was there or stacking it when you lose your balance walking through some mud.

Unintentional missteps and mistakes.

Fun fact for you: this blog is about half a year old! Yay! Half a birthday cake! It’s strange that it simultaneously feels like a lot shorter and longer than six months (if you know what I mean). Anyway. Thank you for your readership, you gorgeous squirrels.

Now, it wouldn’t be a real half birthday without reflecting on the past six months together. Here are some of my reflections (delivered to you as a conversation between me, myself and I. (Yeah. I know. I probably should stop talking to myself aloud sometime soon…)

Image“Let them eat half a cheesecake. ” – Marie Antoinette ft. Alex

Hi, Alex. So, what has your experience of blogging been like thus far?

A1: Hi! It’s been great, thanks. I really enjoy it and I’m so glad that I realised that I get a kick out of stringing words together. That was a very good light bulb moment, indeed.

A2: Yeah, I’m loving it, too. In fact, it’s got to the stage where, if things are going pear-shaped  I type it out of my system as a way of de-stressing. So, yeah, I guess in some ways it’s therapeutic.

Do you have any suggestions as to how the imperfect peach could improve or where you’d like to see it going?

A2: Well, I think that as you expand that mind of yours, Alex, that your content will begin to shift naturally.

Was that a politically correct way of suggesting that we have fewer Alex’s love life and failing-at-life-moments posts?

A2: Ha! Well, not necessarily. Although, I guess you do expose yourself quite a lot, don’t you? I mean, I know there were times when it was a big thing to select the “Publish Post” button and putting things which were intensely private out on the interweb was a big deal… but there are times when I worry that you cross the line and over-share that bit too much.

A1: Hmm. But you know what? For many reasons, I’m proud of you for having done that. For the stuff which was hard to post I think publishing it allowed you to let go of it and to move past it. And anyway, if you don’t laugh at yourself what’s the other option? Cry?

A2: True. Also, you have such a tendency to accumulate failing-at-life moments and love life drama that I’m sure you’ll still be sharing some of them in the way you currently do. But maybe it’d be helpful to wear a sign saying “If you ask me out on a date, there is a high chance that I shall make an anonymous reference to you in a future blog post.”

A1: OHMYGOD! Someone please make that sign!

Haha. Thanks, guys. Do you have any other suggestions for the the imperfect peach going forwards?

A1: Well, although I enjoy your failing-at-life moments and reading about your love life, I’ve been meaning to ask, can we change up the content a bit, please? Not totally, but I’m thinking about adding some other stuff into the mix. Perhaps some posts which are career-oriented or deal with the pre-moving out of home stage, for example, which are both very pertinent to your life at the moment.

Yeah. Ok, thanks. I like that idea. 

A2: And fewer faux pas…

Yeah…

A1: What are you referring to?

A2: Well, I know there has been at least one time when you’ve posted stuff that one or two friends have found insensitive and hurtful. I know it wasn’t ever intentional and that your motivation wasn’t to upset anyone, but I think you need to be more mindful of how the people in your Real Life may feel about what you write going forwards.

I completely agree. Point taken. I’m going to be very conscious of that.

A1: Although the faux pas haven’t been ideal, it’s interesting to note that the fact that you’ve stuffed up is in keeping with your theme of “imperfection”…

A2: Observant as ever, A1.

I hadn’t thought of that either, but I guess it’s true; imperfection is my area of specialisation… Anything else which you ladies would like to add before we wrap up?

A1: Keep on tapping that keyboard, Alex. But not too much. You have a tendency to waffle. Keep it short and simple. If you can express it in fewer words, do so.

A2: But don’t force it. Life is too short to invest time in things which you feel ambivalent about.

Thanks, A1 and A2! 

A1: Bye, Alex!

A2: And happy half birthday, the imperfect peach!

***
 
And with that I am going to go on holidays.*

Ciao!

Alex x

*Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m still going to be blogging whilst I’m away. Yes, that’s right: I am still going to provide you with something to help you waste 10 minutes of your day. Yay!