Each day the world significantly changes, or more finely put; a persons world significantly changes. There are couples falling in love, people buying their first homes, young adults learning to drive. And amongst this there are thousands of babies being born. The latter is the one that’s giving me a story to tell today, because on the 7th of December in 1997 at 7pm a young woman sat in the delivery room of Royal Brisbane Hospital, where one cry would soon become two.
As you grow older you start to see your birthday for more then just a number, presents and attention. This year I saw mine as a reflection and prediction, for what I have and will become. Sometimes birthday’s conjure up mixed feelings amongst different people. For some, they see the day as nothing but a metaphorical hourglass that measures the passage of time remaining; the sand slowly, but ever so painfully, slipping through to a life ending. What these people don’t understand though is that time will never show them the running sand remaning, it will just be a clearing of nothing until the clock’s up and the glass shatters. And for those who familiarise themselves with this concept are bound to be on the opposite side of the birthday spectrum. I am one of these people. However, my preconceived idea of my nineteenth birthday was that it held nothing worth celebrating. It was a meaningless age; just another digit in the numerical system. But I was wrong, and this is why.
On Wednesday the 7th, I had woken up to the belief that my day would play out as the following; breakfast with mum, finishing my 1000 piece puzzle and reading, a nap, and then a quiet dinner with my family. Yet as I sat on my bed (semi-naked in a robe), a little surprise sprung into my room. This surprise was in the form of my best friend Brittany who yelled “GET READY, WE’RE LEAVING FOR A SECRET LOCATION”. From the magic works of my mother, she had organised a high tea in the plaza, giving us a window of time to fill our stomachs with scones, cappuccinos, and fancy rectangle sandwiches. Dinner that night was perfect, not because of the location, but because of the people in it. You could put us in a blacked out room, and we would provide our own light. I had a wine glass the size of my face, a steak too big for my mouth, and sticky date pudding too sweet for my teeth. And I devoured all three.
On Friday I celebrated my birthday in a completely different style with the closest girlfriends I’ve met and kept in my life. For people who are separated more times than together, who argue and debate more times than agree, and who share some complete different traits in what we do and who we are – there is a core in the bodies of my high school friends which will always continue to draw and connect me to each of them. Even if we did drift apart, you could always pull the string back and easily form a friendship again. And so the old friends, the new, and myself, drunk too much and we laughed too loud, and when I crawled into bed at 2:30am, I could not have been happier with the night I had just had.
So as I write this I stand corrected by my weak impressions on nineteen. You’ve proved you are going to be just as memorable and meaningful then the rest. And to my eighteen year old self, thank you for the changes you’ve made in order to get me to this point. Thank you for allowing me to legally purchase and drink alcohol, and for providing me access into 18+ and over venues. Thank you for the year of heartbreak and loss, yet empowerment and discovery.
To conclude, I want to say thank you in general to all ages of growth; both unwanted and welcomed. My skin was stretched to cover muscles, fat and bones much quicker than it really wanted to. It’s weird to say, but thank you for pushing me down and challenging me to get back up. Thank you for not making me perfect. I wouldn’t be me without a popped vein in my right leg from when it got kicked with a soccer ball at the age eight. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have stunted growth in my boobs at 15, resulting in a semi larger left breast. I wouldn’t be me without my unruly wavy, (most times fizzy and curly) hair. For all these body imperfections, life lessons and age maturity; truly from the deepest place in my heart, I say thank you.