It’s that wonderful time of year again where I gain a wrinkle, four grey hairs and have a crisis of age.
I love birthdays.
Obviously the cards, presents and celebratory food cushion the blow, but why do I always panic when I realise that I’m another year older despite understanding – since the tender age of five – the simple concept of time?
Despite this blind, undying ignorance, birthdays aren’t all bad. Because mine happens to fall in the spring time – the season best known for new beginnings, bunny rabbits and general pinterest-worthy joyousness – I always treat them like a second New Year. I pledge vows to myself and set targets for the year ahead by reflecting on the things I’d have done differently, and of course, I rarely stick to my promises. So I thought, why break the habit of a life time?
Because I’m older, and a little wiser now. That’s why.
It’s essential to think about improvement, but it’s equally as important to realise how far you’ve come. So I will start by thinking about the things that I know now, that I wish I knew then.
One. Things take time. This includes everything from projects, to love.
Don’t. Rush. Anything.
Two. Most people deserve a second chance. Rarely do people deserve a third.
Three. Do not, under any circumstances, fad diet. Just maybe cut down on the Kit Kats.
Four. Yoga is a whole lot more than stretching in tight pants. The older you get, the more you’ll realise this.
And five. Having fewer good friends is better than having lots of shit ones.
I could go on and on, as 25 years is actually quite a long time, but the gist is this: things will always be okay. Yes, I have had my heartbroken, but it’s fixed now. Of course, I have failed at things, but I’ve succeeded in so many others. And, much like you, I cut my own hair once. Badly. But it’s grown out now. What I’m trying to say is, despite living with these goddamn freckles and a butt the size of Narnia my entire life, there are plenty of people who would kill to be you or I. So instead of trying to better ourselves each year, why not give ourselves a pat on the back, just for making it this far? Because life isn’t always a lemon sorbet on The Serpentine, if you know what I mean? And we’re probably doing alright, considering.
Behind a haze of pollution and astonishing drink prices, it’s really rather easy to forget why you’re alive, but when your birthday swings round, and people come together just to celebrate the simple fact that you were born, it all, very suddenly, becomes oh so clear.
Always be thankful for what you have. And I’m not talking about that new camera.
Happy Birthday to me.