In the words of the great T Swift, “I don’t know about you, but I’m feelin’ 22!”
By the time this column comes out I have turned the ripe age of 22. Growing up you cannot wait to be 16 and have a large sweet 16 and have the chance to obtain a drivers permit and/or license. Then you cannot wait to turn 18 and make it to the first step of the legal age pedestal. From then on, it’s 21, 25, 30, 50 and so forth, just the major age stepping stones. But what about the ages in between?
I find it so true when someone says to their friends or family on their birthdays, “how do you feel now that you are this age?” And most of the time we all answer, “not any different than I did yesterday.” The only thing that changes is the number associated with our lives. Bodies change, hair color changes, eyesight weakens and the good ol’ memory is not as it used to be. But all those things change over long periods of time, except if you are Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Aniston who don’t age at all, all the Jennifers apparently get the good gene pools. But the age we turn every year doesn’t drastically change our life except for someone’s 21st birthday because there is a high chance, they might not fully remember the birthday. (I do remember, in case anyone was wondering.)
Birthdays are such an interesting thing to me, there are those who celebrate the whole month, those that celebrate a whole week, those who go all out for that one day, and those like me who want a big deal but have anxiety about being in the spotlight at all. I love celebrating other people and making others feel special, but it is so hard for me to have it turned around on me. I did have some pre-birthday surprises and gifts from friends and people I work with and honestly it was nice. It was calm and not alarming, which allowed me to really enjoy the celebration rather than freaking out about it.
So, 22 is another number, another year, another age; nothing drastically changing. A lot has happened within the last year though and I have grown a lot and learned to stand up for myself and others and remind myself that I have a voice and I am allowed to use it.
Cheers to another year around the sun, cheers to another year of life, cheers to waking up and getting out of bed everyday even during the hardest of days and cheers to life.
Whenever I write these columns, I remind myself that I write them because I want to express my point of view on life and then it allows anyone else who reads them the opportunity to relate to them too.
Cheers to you reading this, cheers to those who celebrated May birthdays, cheers to those in their early 20s still trying to figure out life and cheers to the amazing baristas helping our generation get through the day.
Now as we are starting the month of June, 2023 is already almost six months in. It’s a good reminder to not waste the time we have on this earth and make sure we take the time to step back and appreciate every birthday.
Sarah Lawson is a former staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to contribute a regular column.