I guess not many people at the restaurant yesterday understood why I danced (by myself, in a parking lot, to no music) because there was a solar eclipse. It was for three reasons.
- It was my birthday and I had every right to do so.
- There was a solar eclipse which felt like a birthday present from the Sky.
- I am the Skychild and the Sky makes me happy, and so I danced to express just how awesome my 25th Birthday was.
On Friday, I was grumpy as all hell. I didn’t know why, I just was. It felt sort of post- menstrual; as though my hormones were flaring for no good reason at all. It was a miserable time. I wanted to throw bricks at passers-by and break stuff.
It was only much later, after chatting to a good friend, that it dawned on me that I was feeling that way because those were the last days of my life on the good side of my 20s. I was drawing closer to my emergence as a fully-fledged adult, and yet I didn’t (and still don’t) feel like one.
I thought back to almost 3 years ago, when I was visiting a friend who was facing 25 with much anxiety. She had set so many goals for herself, and had reached none of them. She wasn’t rich, she wasn’t married, and she hadn’t completed her studies.
Although it didn’t bother her to the point that she was depressed, she was still somewhat disappointed by her “failures.”
I didn’t have any specific goals set for myself by the time I turned 25. I didn’t want to be married or have any kids by this age. I chose not to study, so I am not surprised that I don’t have a university degree. I don’t have a job, so obviously I don’t live in a mansion. I don’t know how to drive, I have never had a bill sent to me and I have never taken responsibility for so much as a cellphone contract.
Simply put, I don’t have anything that would make one an official adult.
The only thing that has changed is that when I was 24 it was okay to not have achieved anything in life. Now I am 25 and my age is no longer an excuse for not being one with the herd.
I should have my shit together, they say.
But I don’t feel that way. I know what I want to do, and I am doing it. I have travelled, and experienced things that most 25 year olds with their own houses, cars, husbands and brats dream about while they are squeezing in their mediocre lunches at their dull and tedious nine-to-fives.
I left home when I was 21, to live with a family of strangers in a foreign country, which enabled me to backpack around Europe all by myself, and return home at age 22, to fight for a long-distance relationship I found in faraway lands, which led to me being granted a mutiple entry visa into the Netherlands for the next 5 or so years, but that plan fell through and so Sweety moved 10 000km to live with me in South Africa.
I don’t care if I am penniless and have been for months. I have stories, which in my humble opinion are far more valuable than material goods.
I am content with how my life turned out. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I regret nothing.
So while many celebrate their 25th by getting dressed up, and going all out, this is how my birthday went down:
I woke up with a slight hangover from pre-birthday celebrations that went on well after midnight. Then I went shopping with my Sweety because he needs clothes for autumn/ winter and didn’t think to bring any along with him when he moved here. He bought me a yoga mat as a birthday present because I have ambitions of fixing my terrible posture. We went for an early dinner at my favourite fast food restaurant, and had beers while we watched the solar eclipse- which is one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. A solar eclipse! on my birthday! What more could I possibly say to prove to you that I am the Skychild? It was INCREDIBLE!
We walked home- feeling fat and happy- had a few more drinks, ate cupcakes and played video games and Yahtzee as the clocks struck midnight. This morning when I woke up, nothing had changed, because I am still the exact same person I was when I was 24.
My birthday wasn’t spoiled by sneaking thoughts of failure. I wasn’t disappointed by anything.
Rather than acknowledging the end of my awesomeness and youth, I celebrated the continuation of it.
It was a perfect day, and I was perfectly content with who and what I am.
So no, I haven’t achieved all the adult nonsense that society expects from me.
But it doesn’t matter, because I have achieved something far more important:
How many 25 year olds do you know who can say that?