Delayed Count Down

The last few weeks have been full of self reflection as my six months in Manchester came along and my 28th birthday looms. Since moving to Manchester nothing has been happening quite as planned and my life appears to have exploded into a million pieces of “Huh?” Most of these have been exciting and fun and I have found myself doing something that I have never been able to do before – I, Jessica Davies, have gone with the flow. It’s a MIRACLE. Lots of good things have come from this flow taking and many, many odd moments where reflections with wine, ice cream and my friend Pooja have been required. However, usually the final outcomes have been furrowed brows, shrugs of shoulders and, “Well… the world is a strange, strange place.” Let’s see what happens next.

A result of all of these oddities has been my lack of focus on the passage of time. Usually I am very aware of the date and how many days, hours and minutes there are until my favourite day of the year – My Birthday. This year it has snuck up on me, camouflaged behind work, life and fun. On Sunday it will be my 28th birthday and it is finally a year that I share my day with my Dad. I was born on Fathers’ Day and this year my birthday falls on the Australian celebration of the men who gave us their genetics (large thighs and a bulbous nose.) I have been looking forward to this year for many years – the last time it happened was 2002 and stupid leap years and Olympic Games have made me have to wait ten years.

The past month I have slipped into that oh-woe-I’m-getting-old-mode that many people experience as they question how they are possibly turning that age – what happened to the previous years? Where did they go? Do I have wrinkles? Why are my knees hurting so much? I think this has been fuelled by my current job working with young and innocent 19 year olds and my customers asking me why a 27 year old is still travelling and working as a waitress instead of developing a career, getting married and popping out kids. I just smile and bring them a burger with cheese in response.

However, a good friend of mine gave me a virtual slap via email the other day, suggesting that perhaps my late-20s and all of my 30s will be some of the most exciting, most challenging, most creative, and most rewarding years of my life and they will result in the biggest changes and developments for me. As I read her words and felt her “Snap out of it!” slap in the face, I realised she was correct. Considering the last ten years of my life have moved me from being a shy, homebound, unadventurous 18 year old who thought going to bed at 10.30pm was rebellious to a free, single young woman living in foreign countries, learning new languages and talking to random strangers because they might turn into friends (don’t worry Mum), who knows what will happen in the next ten. I am far, far away from a career, a husband and 2.5 children but that was largely through choice and my personal belief that I want more than a mortgage in my life. Sure some sort of understanding of what I want to do with my life would be really, really helpful and would result in a few less panic-fuelled crying sessions, but generally speaking I wouldn’t change anything that I have done in the last ten years.

On Saturday I am getting on a plane and flying to Split where I am going to meet up with my best friend who I haven’t seen in one and a half years. I am going to spend my birthday in 30+ degrees eating good food, swimming in the ocean and enjoying the good things in life. And I’ll celebrate with my Dad via the wonders of Skype.

A good year.

A good year.

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