I’ve not been a very social creature during the last year. This is mainly due to the pandemic and not being able to go out and do things with my friends, or travel to see friends but also I’ve not really used many online tools to keep up on a social life. I find mass Zoom calls a little overwhelming, the first one I was a part of at the start of lockdown I was playing Animal Crossing whilst on the call till I felt a little better about it all. I’ve done Netflix Party a few times as a replacement for Cinema Club, but I miss the Cinema so much that watching movies on my computer or in bed made me a little sad. I think after a little while you just get used to it, but not in a good way. You just start to feel like life is an endless repetition of days that blur into each other creating a muddy colour palette that you have to wade through hoping to find some CMYK somewhere. On Friday it was sunny and I met a friend for the first time since September, and we sat on a wall in Leicester Square and chatted about life, drank bubble tea and ate Taiwanese fried chicken before having a little walk around and explore. I got home and was just so happy inside. Then yesterday I played video games for three hours with a group of friends in three different time zones and it was just nice to see people’s faces, even if they just popped in briefly to wave and watch. Now I feel great, everything has a freshly painted, wonderful day sort of vibe. I can’t wait to get my vaccination, and when it’s safe to do so, hug all my friends and travel to places in the UK outside of London and see my friends, and to get on a plane and hug the hell out of people abroad.
Anyway, in case you didn’t know I am 36 now. I am not someone who dislikes her birthday. I use my birthday as an excuse to just do things that make me happy and see people I enjoy spending time with and my birthday in lockdown wasn’t any different. We had family stop by for socially distant hellos and chats, and then we ate a lot of food, my niece made me a birthday pavlova which was AMAZING, my mum made her famous pasties, I got a jam donut in Sainsbury’s and had it with BTS coffee, I played video games and had a lovely time doing so with people, I danced in my room to my fav music and I fell asleep watching my fav YouTube person play Stardew Valley. I may not have been able to see everyone in person, and some people I love very much but didn’t get to see, but to me this was a great birthday nonetheless. 36 is a weird age because 40 is closer than ever, and seems more like a reality than ever. Do I have to start saying I’m in my late thirties now? I still think 36 counts as mid thirties. Should I have more of a life plan at 36? I do live at home again, but that’s because I had to leave the US and move back to London and I do not want to live with roommates ever again AND I’m saving money so I can move countries again as soon as I can. I feel like I’m doing my best and working towards goals.
All of this makes me question what we rate as being an adult anyway and how things have changed from when my parents were younger. I can’t imagine buying a house for example, it just seems like a lot of money and I don’t know if I will ever have enough to put a down payment on one but that’s not a huge concern right now. I’ve always rejected this notion of letting go of passions you had as a kid as you get older, things like comic books or anime or collecting cute things or Pokemon. I think you should go out and buy a bunny hat no matter your age. I think you should wear whatever you want. Do you want to be a 40 year old E-Girl? More power to you, go and do it. To me growing up is becoming happy with yourself and doing as much as you can to live your best life, whilst being a decent human being and caring about the people and world around you. Accepting your role as a global citizen of this planet, doing you best to help everyone in it and also feeling free enough to pursue your creative goals and dreams as realities and not just things that you do after working at a job you hate all day. My dad worked for 35 years in a job he hated, and I get his payout was he had early retirement and is now financially secure enough to do what he likes in his own time, but that doesn’t mean I have to do the same. We have the same conversation we always do on my birthday about how I’m not married. I still think you can get married at any age, I don’t know who decided to make 30 years old the landmark age for it all, and after that you are old and no one will marry you. People are getting married at later ages, women are having children at later ages AND you can still adopt kids, there are so many kids that need homes and support. Not all of life revolves around being part of a marriage and having children, and whilst I wouldn’t tell you I don’t want these things I have learnt that they aren’t goals that would make my life any less if I didn’t reach them.
I guess what I’m saying is that when it comes to life and getting older you should always eat the three slices of birthday pavlova when they are offered to you and you should do it full of love for yourself and good vibes. Aren’t you glad I started writing all the nonsense in my head every Sunday? I know I am.