Last week, I turned 28, and there’s a weird feeling that came with it.
It’s not so much of a fear of getting older, but more like the fear of running out of time. The clock is ticking, but I feel like I haven’t done so much. I’m only a year older than a few weeks ago (technically), and yet the difference feels massive. Saying “I’m 28 and looking for a job” sounds a lot worse than “I’m 27 and looking for a job”.
I have a lot of things planned for my life, and where I am now is not how I pictured life at 28 would be.
Sometimes Many times, I can feel frustration and self-doubt starting to get into me, and it knocks off my confidence pretty badly. I feel that I should’ve done and achieved more in this age, and yet here I am, still struggling to build a career in a place that is completely new.
People who are close to me tell me that I’m being too hard on myself, and a recent test for a job application confirmed that. While it might be true, it still doesn’t make me calm down, and I’m always yearning to do something. To achieve something that I can be proud of.
This year’s birthday was a quiet one, like it’s always been for the past few years. While in the past I took a delight in getting wishes from as many people as possible, as I grow older, the number of wishes and WhatsApp messages means so little. It touches me when people remember, and when they take time to send me thoughtful and sincere messages (so thoughtful it made me cry in the middle of the day when reading it).
As I grow older, my birthdays have become a lot quieter, but a lot more meaningful. I’m grateful for another year to live, and for the happiness and health that I have. At the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.
This year, I got tickets to see Madame Butterfly as an early birthday present from my sister’s boyfriend (the last show was before my birthday, hence the early present). H gave me tickets to see the Notre Dame musical in November, and my sister gave me a set of gouache paint that I’d wanted for so long, plus a subscription to Skillshare‘s online classes. I remember saying to them that a gift of experience was priceless, as I’d take the memories with me until I’m old. They remembered this and gave me just that.
Lots of flamingoes as they knew I was obsessed!
I spent my birthday strolling around Botaniska with H. Later on, my sister and her boyfriend would chase me down the park to sing happy birthday. We went to a local Thai restaurant after that, and I had one of the most amazing meals I’ve had in Gothenburg. Toward the end, the waiters came with the desserts and sang happy birthday, with people in the room clapping and joining in for the serenade (note to self: learn how to sing the birthday song in Swedish!).
They chased me down the park with these.
As birthday goes, this was a pretty good one, and I’m so grateful.