Lately, I can’t help but ask myself: am I old or just getting older?
I’m twenty. Not ancient or anywhere near dangerously old– like middle age– but definitely at an endpoint. Childhood is becoming an increasingly foggy memory, and adulthood is no longer something to look forward to but a glaring reality I must endure. Twenty remains the ceremonial marker for this transition - at least in my mind. The safety net has faded from sight, and I am terrified. In some ways, not much has changed; the world did not flip itself inside out at midnight on August 1st. However, a culmination of realizations has altered how I view myself and the world around me.
Childhood is becoming an increasingly foggy memory, and adulthood is no longer something to look forward to but a glaring reality I must endure.
Nothing remains strikingly different, but nothing seems the same either.
Time has warped into something my younger self would fail to comprehend. The intensity of the antsiness little-me felt when tasked with waiting a duration of time over ten minutes in any circumstance, the incessant are-we-there-yets on road trips – it was all unbearable. But now I feel different. I no longer find the passage of time agonizing and anticipate its progress. I yearn for more – more hours in the day, more hours to breathe, to rest, to think, to learn, and to love. Now, I want infinity. I no longer loathe it. University began yesterday, but it's half over and nearly finished. Tomorrow I’ll be somewhere else. I may have recognized life’s fleeting nature, but I have yet to accept it fully.
So much of growing up means waiting for seemingly significant things to finally feel small or inconsequential enough that they become forgotten, a fleeting memory that yields a small smile or scrunch of the nose in mild disgust whenever it crosses the mind. Since I’ve reached my twenties, more and more of my teenage years have begun to slip away from the forefront of my memory, to become memorialized, clouded, or forgotten. I cannot actively recall the “most embarrassing day of my life” in middle school, any more than I can recall what I ate for breakfast two weeks ago – nor do I care. Of course, I remember the warmth of my many summers spent with grandparents, and the laughter I’ve shared with friends over the years – those things I hold onto dearly. Now I chiefly reminisce over sweet moments from childhood, nights out, blissful encounters, cherished conversations, and moments of intimacy I’ve experienced since entering the latter portion of my teenage years.
Since I’ve reached my twenties, more and more of my teenage years have begun to slip away from the forefront of my memory, to become memorialized, clouded, or forgotten.
However, the newness of university life and adult responsibilities, along with the looming transition into postgraduate life have constructed new real estate within my psyche, a shift of focus I actually welcome. Looming responsibilities aside, I now have agency. I am an adult woman, with the ability to demand that others recognize me as such.
Of course, age has graciously gifted me with increasing levels of pragmatism as well, yet when I look at my plans for the next decade, professional ambition aside, I see a life of excess. No, I don’t desire material excess. I desire an excess of experiences, people, and love affairs, both platonic and romantic. I want to live a lush life overflowing with excitement. I want to go clubbing in Europe, I want to travel freely, and I will make Nella Rose proud by shaking my ass on a yacht in Dubai in a thong because I deserve it.
I desire an excess of experiences, people, and love affairs, both platonic and romantic. I want to live a lush life overflowing with excitement.
I deserve to experience the world and all its gifts; no one can take that away from me, nor would I want to take it from anyone else.
Here’s to becoming Miss Twenty-Something.