Birthday Girl

Truth is, I can’t change.

November 15th, 1998. Also known as the day I was born.

18 years to that day and obviously, it’s my birthday. Who knows that better than me? Today is my birthday, and I am 18.

I’m 18. Me.

That means I’m basically an adult.

And I’m not afraid to tell you, I’ve been petrified over this. So very scared. I’ve been in and out of denial over it. One day it’s “Yes, I can!” Then it’s “No, I can’t!” And “no I can’t” very quickly became “no I won’t”.

I felt like it meant growing up. It does, doesn’t it? You’re an adult. That means you have to grow up and change, right?

Right. Except for the last one.

You don’t have to change. Of course, you have to grow up. Anyone here who’s past 18 will know that best. But you don’t have to change.

You must know that everyone has a certain way to be. I’ve been told that I’m funny, likeable and basically like a female Peter Pan, because I look young and I don’t act like an adult, whatever that means. It’s effectively a social convention. I have to grow up. Of course I’ve got growing up to do. I have to get my education, get a job, make money and, of course, I need to work on myself. But I don’t have to change. I just have to work on the person I already am. And that’s just as well. Because here’s the thing – I wasn’t going to!

No, I wasn’t going to change. Not for you, not for anyone. I wasn’t changing then and I’m not changing now. I know I’m funny, I hope I’m likeable and I’m certainly batshit crazy. But what I like is when people are unapologetically individual. They know they don’t want to be like everyone else. And they’re alright with that. It’s the only thing I want to be. I can’t change, and even if I wanted to I still don’t think I could. I’m different. And I’m not going to be unhappy just to make everyone else happy.

The message of this? Some things never change. I happen to be one of those things. I’ll never change for anyone. I’ll still be the same person on the inside the whole time. I’m not going to subscribe to the adult rule book just because everyone else wants me to. And you shouldn’t feel like you have to be someone else to make others happy either.

Another message. Don’t abandon those crazy dreams you’ve had, you never know when you’ll need them again. A tidy life is a boring one. Life is like a dance. It’s fun, it’s somewhat choreographed, and you’re meant to mess up. It’s fine! Trust me, the more of those crazy dreams you hold onto, the better off you’ll be for it. If you do that, you’re definitely doing yourself a massive favour. Hold onto that childish madness and joy, and never let it go. Stay curious, stay slightly distracted. And always look for the good (and the magic!) in everything. Everything is magical in someway. Just make sure you look long enough.

One last thing – I had a really great birthday!

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