3 Dec 2014

22




Yesterday was my 22nd birthday. It's hard to believe that on this day a year ago I was waking up in my room in Grenoble after what was, in hindsight, probably the weirdest night of the whole semester in France. We'd ended up in the notoriously exchange-student-populated London Pub, which until then we'd managed to avoid completely, where the barman gave us a free tarte tatin (with three candles stuck in it, to make things festive) and amongst other things I ended up trying to explain the appeal of Monty Python to a Frenchman with a bloody nose while everyone else butted in with an unhelpful impression of John Cleese in the Holy Grail. You know the one. The one you shouldn't do in front of a large group of intoxicated French people.

This year, no Frenchmen, no tarte tatin; just sweet cocktails in a wee underground bar in my favourite city with some of my nicest friends. My birthday has always been a bit inconveniently timed, just at the beginning of exam season, but thinking about it this will be the last year I'll have to contend with revision and essay deadlines for attention on my birthday. There are some benefits to entering the real world at last, I suppose.

Being 22 feels... a bit different, actually. Maybe it's because a lot seemed to happen over the past year, as opposed to in previous years where things felt more or less the same. It changes from day to day, but on the whole I do feel like I tentatively have my shit together. I don't freak out when children talk to me like I'm a grown-up anymore. I own three whole sets of nice matching underwear and I really rarely lose socks in the wash. I think I'm a reasonably intelligent, talented person who could conceivably accomplish something eventually. The older I get, the more it feels like a good thing that I am me and not someone else, and I feel like I keep getting better at being me too. Which is good. Imagine if I was getting worse at being me, just kind of slowly disintegrating and losing my corporeality... OK I don't know what I'm talking about anymore. I'm a bit hungover.

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