Melly's Musings | Turning 23 | Part One: Do You Feel Old?

February 2nd 2014 was my 23rd birthday. And with it came a feeling I'd never experienced before...

...And that feeling was complete and utter freedom. It's a tricky one to describe but turning 23 has made me feel more sophisticated and uninhibited than I ever have.

My birthday fell on a Sunday, which meant I was at church in the morning - bright and early. I even got sunshine (!!). Due to the weather's track record on my birthday, which has often involved snow, I was elated that the sun had decided to come out. We're having quite a mild February, aren't we?

Anyway, the recurring conversation went something like this:
 'Oh, it's your birthday? '
'How old are you?'
'Do you feel old?'
*confused face*

Nobody has asked me this question before. I'm still not even in my mid-twenties. Am I supposed to feel old? My mum is in her 40's and every birthday, for as long as I can remember, I have asked if she feels old and the answer is always 'no'. (She does look flippin' amazing though, so I'm not surprised by her answer).

The fact of the matter is this: in the big wide world, I am very young. Yes, I've been through education and have a grown-up job but I still have a long way to go and that excites me.

I have to say, my 20's have been the most exhilarating few years that I can think of. My heart is so full of dreams and ideas. The thought that I can go after them with pretty much nothing stopping me makes me feel giddy, in the most amazing way.

When I'm just pottering around the house, I stick a podcast on or something from YouTube. A few evenings ago, I was watching a Strawberry Letter from BronzeGoddess01 on YT. (If you haven't encountered her, go look at her channel. She's a Christian and speaks so much wisdom and sense). She was giving her advice on a letter about a relationship, I think. I'd glazed over during that part but then she said something that really got my attention. 'Your twenties are your prime. You may never look this good or feel this good again. Stop allowing others to waste your time.' (I'm paraphrasing but you get the gist).

Honestly, that one statement blew my mind. I reflected recently about when I was a teenager. I did all kinds of ridiculous things to make sure I was always liked, always popular. I dressed a particular way, went to certain places. I'd be so desperate to be accepted and liked and 'in with the crowd'.

I'd worry about things that seem insignificant now. And I know that's the nature of growing up but now, I just feel so grateful to be free from all of that. It's amazing what becomes important to you, as you mature. I used to be worried about going out by myself. Then my preferences changed. Before I started Uni, I had never even got on a train by myself. Now, one of my favourite things to do is get lost in the city. I love how tiny it makes you feel, and how anonymous.

So far, I've loved discovering the things that I really like and feeling brave enough to change some of the things that I don't. I am constantly upsizing my dreams. Why? Because I can.

I remember turning 21 and being unsure of whether I'd be able to navigate this whole adulthood thing. I think I've done an alright job so far but the sense of urgency is more present than ever. The feeling of boldness I'm experiencing is exhilarating and it isn't wearing off, so I'm running with it.

Being the obsessive list-maker that I am, I'm constantly reviewing my goals and dreams. Which reminds me, I made a list of things to do in 2013. Time to look at how much of it I actually managed to do.

I've found myself doing considerably less comparing, over the last few months. Everyone has their own battles, no matter how shiny their lives look on the outside. Think of how many people probably want what you have?

The only person who can really make a change in your life is you. Wouldn't it be a terrible shame to go through life and meet so many people but never really meet you? I've discovered all kinds of things that I enjoy, since I bothered to take the time to find out.

Here's to a more confident approach and new adventures....



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