Birthdays are an opportunity to be over indulgent, spoiled, the centre of attention and on one level it’s nice having a day completely dedicated to celebrating your existence.
But in a time where surviving to the age of 21 isn’t exactly worthy of an accolade, why is it still so important?
I remember turning 18 and waking up to a room full of balloons thanks to my sneaky mother who’d stole in whilst I was asleep to squash them all in to surprise me and actually feeling mentally older.
I felt like I was going to now be an adult, I was 18! The world was my oyster. I was a (wo) man of the world with opportunities and my whole life ahead of me. I then got up and got ready for sixth form like I had done every other day that week but that didn’t matter. Somehow it still felt special
Now I’m turning 21 and I’m under pressure to do something unforgettable, amazing, once in a lifetime, to celebrate a supposedly milestone time of my life that I have to remember for ever.
I can only imagine what my parents are going through pressure wise. How do you buy a gift for someone who doesn’t want or need for anything?
The truth is, I just can’t bring myself to get excited about it. Instead, the thought that some of the best years of my life have whizzed past me and The Future is still some mystical undefined space/place I really don’t want to progress to, makes me turning 21 frankly terrifying.
This time last year, my biggest worry was finding a dress for my birthday. This year, the fact has dawned on me that I’m in my final year at university and I have no idea what is next.
University was the only goal I worked towards, there was no certainties beyond that- 21 was still always ages away.
Perhaps then I’m dreading my birthday so much not because I’m scared of getting old (I’ve had greys for many years and I looked thirty when I was fifteen) but it literally will mean an end of an era for me.
Hopefully the future holds experiences as wonderful as the pre-21 golden years