22 feels like a good number. I was a little nervous about this birthday: I had a thoroughly wonderful 21st last year, and I thought it might dwarf any future birthdays I celebrated. I was also worried because 22 is old, man – 21 is the golden age after all, isn’t it? But 22 feels good. 22 feels like confidence, a new chapter of adulthood, a kind of composure I certainly didn’t have at 19 or even 20.

22 has been looking in the mirror and liking what I see. 22 has been playing that Taylor Swift song on repeat; brand new sheets and donut pyjamas; beautiful handmade linen. It has been a pancake stack for breakfast with Kate, and a delicious lunch at Poneke with my wonderful mum (complete with yummy yummy cake cake cake). 22 has been a long Lush shower and my favourite perfume (Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel). 22 has been one of my favourite kinds of weather: mild and dry, with high grey skies. 22 has been making a new friend in my MDIA 310 lecture, a girl who recognised me from my days at the Flaxmere Pools all those years ago.22 has been a dinner date at Scopa with Kate, followed by dessert and delicious cocktails at the library. 22 has been far better than I ever expected.

Thank you to everyone – friends, family, and strangers – who took the time to wish me happy birthday. I’ve had so many kind words and warm wishes, and that really has been the best thing. I think it is lovely that we celebrate a human’s existence on the day they came into this world. I feel happy. I am not a perfect human being and I am not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am loved and cared for, and I know a whole lot of pretty spectacular people so I feel pretty spoilt. Birthdays are not just for the young; they’re for everyone who survives and thrives for another year in this strange blue world.


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