Turning 20, in this day and age, I suppose… can be considered more or less a monumental sign. While the 19th birthday introduced many to an already known world of legally drinking, smoking and two years away from Vegas –20 is a more welcoming number. Maybe even the ‘Quarter-Life Crisis‘ if you will. Despite what might appear to be the beginning of a hectic school year, there are still a good number of things on the list to do.
Among other things, I could be hitting up a club (because apparently this is a popular pastime nowadays) and be suffocated by a mixture of Victoria Secret perfumes and Axe sprays while sweating up a storm next to a friend that is more-or-less well intentioned for “trying to show me a good time”. Maybe I will even receive that same perfume I caught a scent of at the club as a gift and realize that thanks to the big end-of-summer sale, every other person I walk by is wearing it too. None of the above seems to be quite appealing and regardless of what I end up spending my day doing, it is always assumed that there will be people present. After all, isn’t it the presence of other people in your life that make it that much more worthwhile? I suppose to make any birthday appear to be a monumental sign in one’s life, there must be the significant people around to legitimize it.
I learned that happiness is better shared –like passing around a plate of cookies. Despite the stress that fast diminishing cookies present in a group setting versus when alone, sometimes nothing is more overwhelming than pressure to be loud when greeting everyone during the occasion. The younger version of us will recall loud, screaming friends running around at birthday parties. As we age, some of us derive more value from the quiet introspection of our days. Although there is certainly nothing wrong with spending special days and celebrations with the people you love.
There will be no doubt that on my 20th birthday I will consider what the next few years will look like. Right now, I can picture sitting alone in front of a laptop screen while the rest of the world is fast asleep or more times where I will end up embracing the qualities of a hermit and decide to stay at home rather than move out of the house to meet people (Logic: Pajamas > People). I will look outside to the yard and question the idea of sitting outside upon damp furniture after endless days of rain in Vancouver.
Right now, I will personally admit to myself that it was rather illogical of me to have spent so much of my time in the past considering the stages of my life that has yet to happen. It is rather liberating to think without the social structure. As the evening is wearing on and my teenage years coming to an end, I might think about where I’ll be after graduating from a business school at the age of 21. I can only imagine that given the same circumstances, I would be in the exact same place with or without my degree. Besides the couple extra dollars –how would I be making use of that piece of fancy paper in a $100 dollar frame? When I consider the reactions of my peers also living in this ‘jobless generation’, I imagine many of them will consider the pursuit of yet another degree in graduate school to be a time stall (which to be fair, could be the case). Maybe one day I’ll tell them I’d also like to travel the world and wake up to a new country every 6 months where I can play a part in improving their local education system. Nothing is wrong with trying to figure out what a happy future may mean. The hours will still slip away like water in my palms but the skies will be clear like they are tonight.
A midst all the pondering of people that are no longer in my life, the favourite necklace that was lost on a walk and amazing work experiences, I want to think about today. In fact, I will. I will have thoughts about today and my future choices: Family, close friends, my major(s), job applications, getting over my chocolate addiction, cats and even the creaky furniture I have yet to attend to. After that, I might consider this entire process to be unoriginal. It isn’t like no one else has done this before their birthday prior to me. Of the 365 potentially beautiful days of my year, I, like the rest of you, have and will in the next 365 grow as a person and move to various stages of my life. And as much as I like to collect cat things, there is nothing more amazing than adding to your very own collection of what I call pint-sized epiphanies on a daily basis. For some, all the pint-sized epiphanies are fit together like puzzle pieces before they leave the familiar behind or before they go to sleep. For me, this is before my birthday.
Funny to think but this year I won’t be spending my 20th birthday alone. With all this talk about turning 20 and having chosen to designate my time to writing this, I’ve been able to spend it with all of you. I hope your pint-sized epiphanies will come together as mine have tonight.
Happy Tuesday, everyone.