Birthday Blues

Let’s talk about birthdays.

It’s officially June, which means that very shortly, I will be turning 24!

Birthdays have always been a pretty big deal in my family. Nothing like Dudley’s birthday in the first Harry Potter book, with 36 presents (but last year there were 37!), but still, a fuss is always made. We typically go out to dinner, I get a few presents, and we have whatever my favorite dessert is that year (it’s been apple crisp for the past several, and I don’t expect that to change any time soon).

This is actually the first year that I’m living away from home on my birthday, and I’ve not really discussed what we’re going to do with Michael. We’ll still definitely be going to dinner with my family, it’s too much of a tradition not to, but my birthday’s on a weekday, so there’s not much else we’ll be able to do.

Anyway, I’m straying far from the point I was going for.

Since I graduated from my undergraduate program in 2015, every birthday seems to come with at least a little bit of existential panic. There is, after all, nothing like a birthday to remind you that you’re getting older every day, and there’s no going back.

The reason these types of thoughts have only started affecting me as I’ve gotten older is simple – I always had a plan before that.

When I was in school, I prided myself on my ambition and my drive, on having a plan and sticking to it. But that was back when having a plan was easy, I only needed to look a few years ahead at a time. And besides, at that age, with the middle class upbringing that I had, most of my goals were easily set out for me.

So, in high school? Graduate at the top of my class, make sure to get good grades, find a university that I love.

Done.

In college I decided to step it up a notch. Graduate in three rather than four years, complete a study abroad, keep my grades up.

Done.

Then when I graduated, whoops, I had no idea what I wanted to do! Cut to me heading to Paris, thinking that the answer to my identity crisis was in Europe. If you don’t know how that turned out, go check out my Backstory posts, or just look at the name of my blog.

Now, at 23 years and 11 months old, I still have a feeling that I’m trying to figure out exactly who I am and what I’m doing, and never does it seem so pressing as when I realize how quickly time flies. It feels as though I just turned 23 a few days ago!

I often find myself reflecting on forgotten goals, unfulfilled resolutions, and old dreams these days.

And yet, ultimately, I do know that 24 is just the beginning. I know that each day is what I make it, and that all my goals are still attainable. Maybe I get the birthday blues, just like a lot of people, but I try to use them to motivate myself to do all the things that I want to achieve.

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