It may surprise some of you to learn that within the past couple of weeks I have just turned 20. I don’t think it’s that I look all that old, but that I have the air of someone older. At least that’s what people have told me. Someone who met me only briefly the other day pegged me at 18 facially, so that made a nice change.
I feel like 20 is a good age to be. Balancing on the cusp of real adulthood, in the way that 18 is not quite the same. Legally yes you are an adult, lots of people move out at 18 and go to university, I was one of them, but 20 is different.
I saw in my 20th Birthday in a tiny town in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Machynlleth. (It’s pronounced mac-hun-clef) As birthday’s go, it’s been one of the better ones, good friends, good cider and I ate a cinnamon pastry for my tea. I saw some comedy, I generally very much enjoyed myself, and woke up feeling surprisingly chirpy the next day all things considered.
A few days later, I got out my little note book and wrote plans, 1 year, 5 years and 10. The further away they get the vaguer they become. From the very concrete 1 year – Get that tattoo, via the 5 year – Be able to go on holiday to the 10 year simply just – Children ?. I know better than to plan too far ahead, I could be hit by a bus or drop dead of a cerebral aneurism tomorrow. That’s not pessimism that’s life; i’ve seen it happen. 2 girls I went to school with died of natural causes (more or less) and they were only young. 16 and 20. But none the less I like to make plans. I plan as though I will be around in 10 years to have children, but equally I don’t slog away at something I hate because I would hate to die sad and unfulfilled.
I have decided mainly to dedicate my 20’s to new experiences as much as possible. There are lots of things i’ve never done; some of them more achievable than others. I’ve never seen Sliding Doors, never been to Spain and never been to a pride day. I would like to think that, within the bounds of possibility I’ll get to my thirties and have made something of my relative youth.
If you can’t do stupid things when you’re young, when can you? Equally, if you can’t spend a Sunday reading Dostoyevsky and painting your nails, or knitting socks, or having a hot bath or going for a walk, when can you?
20’s, I want to enjoy you, the preceding decade has been perhaps quite rubbish. I was fairly cheerful up until the age of 10, at which point puberty followed depression followed more and more horrible shit. I intend for the 20’s to be my time. I want to be happy, do silly things, have stupid hair cuts and stay up too late.
20’s. I am coming for you.