The clock is ticking on as I spend my last for hours as a 24 year old. I used to always reach a middle of the night (alcohol induced) birthday related existential crisis. Each year I would be prompted to think about the differences to the year before and undoubtedly be self critical about all the things I hadn’t achieved. I think important dates can have that effect on you. The main focus of my crisis was always that I was still unwell, in the grips of my eating disorder and it made me feel like a bit of a failure, like people around me were moving on with their lives and I was stuck.
Last year was a new start I guess, the first birthday of my real recovery beginnings. Perhaps it’s why this year feels a little less crisis filled. In fact, compared to last year, I’ve made huge amounts of progress. I’m living independently, back and work and uni and perhaps this might even be the year I graduate. On the eve of my 20th birthday I was full of expectations and put so much pressure on myself. Perhaps the first part of my 20s didn’t really go exactly as I had imagined; and in some respects have been some of the hardest years of my life. But on the eve of my 25th birthday, I feel like I’m embarking on a new chapter and one that I can do what I want with. It’s a scary thought but such an exciting one.
Perhaps the key is to recognise the successes, notice the achievements whether they be small or big and hold on to them. Of course being another year older doesn’t really mean a great deal… Maybe it’s more symbolic than anything else. But hey, maybe I can save my next existential birthday crisis for the eve of my 30th birthday, thankfully I’ve still got a few years until that!