Another year older, but probably not another year wiser. That’s right, on Sunday 7th July, I turned twenty-three. I know a lot of people have some kind of fear over their birthday, of getting older, of hitting a milestone. To me, twenty-three doesn’t seem a remarkable or important age. It’s close enough to eighteen that you are still called a young adult, and far enough from thirty that you don’t have to think about turning thirty. All being twenty-three conjures up for me is singing along to ‘What’s My Age Again’ by Blink 182, and finally knowing what you enjoy for a birthday celebration. I don’t enjoy big celebrations for my birthdays or achievements. I’d much rather be the organiser of someone else’s party, or sat having a lowkey gathering of friends and family, than having limos and nightclubs and staying out until 4am. Thank goodness I have people around me who understand that! I always have a fear that I’ll be chucked into some huge surprise party for my birthday, and just thinking about that gets my anxiety going.
This year, I had a laidback weekend of celebrating. I live in Winchester and this year my birthday fell on the outdoor arts festival that puts Winchester on the map; the Hat Fair. Three of my closest graduate friends (who also live and breathe theatre and the arts) came down to attend Hat Fair, and we spent the whole of Saturday eating, drinking, and watching performances. A few of my highlights include grabbing Pimms and an ice-cream outside of the cathedral; walking through an enormous colour and music installation; and seeing the daring and emotive Motionhouse performance their show ‘Wild’ (they were swinging on bars, and throwing each other in the air, and all sorts; the First Aider in me was almost crying).
Then, on my actual birthday, I had a blessed lie in; working full time has made me forget what that feels like. Being 130 miles away from my family is quite odd on days like birthdays, so it called for plenty of texts, messages, and WhatsApp calls. Luckily, I live with my partner, Rory, so he made me a stack of pancakes and we watched The Aristocats like the grown ups we are. I already knew the big gift Rory had got me for my birthday (tickets to see Nick Offerman; that’s Parks & Rec’s Ron Swanson to you), but he also wanted me to have something on my birthday. So, he took me stationery shopping. For those of you who don’t know, I am a stationery fiend so this was a perfect gift. I picked up a diary, a pencil case, and a fancypants Parker gel pen. Plus, our wonderful housemates got me some tea and more fancypants pens, so I was swimming in stationery goodness.
We went for lunch at Tom’s Deli, a local Winchester eatery which I had been longing to go for years, and then got ready to go out. Not out partying, Heavens no; out bowling. A few of my closest Winchester friends and I spent the evening bowling, drinking, eating, winning tickets on the arcades, and generally acting younger than we are.
I fell into bed, my extroverted side filled to the brim with happiness, and my introverted side ready to curl up with my bullet journal. Including the fact that I am seeing my family next weekend, I had a bloody lovely birthday, So far, twenty-three has been creative, fun, and tinted with gin. And I’d be happy if twenty-three stayed that way.