Wow I am meant to be writing so many travel posts, but it’s my birthday so here is this post instead. This has been a really important, really happy year. I was reading back on my diaries from my early years of university and there were days where I was so miserable (also overdramatic) and my post would be “too tired for class but went late, came home, laughed with flat, X came over but left and I cried” or just “came home, cried” – and even though there are still days where I am exhausted or sad or spend too much time social media stalking people I shouldn’t and I really want to sit down and cry – this year has been so happy.
So to celebrate that, and to commemorate it for myself, here are 22 good things from my year as a 22 year old:
- I got my tattoo (which I have talked about so much but haven’t regretted once)
- I went skydiving!
- I worked in my first law job and survived all the work and the suits and the late lunches.
- I saw Taylor Swift live and cried the entire opening number (she is also releasing another album this year which really sets me up for success until the end of her next tour, that woman really is so powerful).
- I cooked a full roast chicken dinner and it worked! #Success
- I handed in my 10k word honours research paper, including a 50-minute spoken presentation (practised on my loving flatmates). I wrote this while balancing a break up, five other papers and my part-time job so it is stuck in my head forever as something I am so proud of.
- I finished the BA component of my degree! If I can finish this semester of law then I have an education and a politics major which is so funny but so nice (I also managed to fit in two Māori papers and lots of teaching ethnic diversity. A big part of my BA was learning how I can identify and celebrate my heritage even though I can’t speak Te Reo and I am really proud of the way it has informed my learning. I am so proud to be Māori and that is part of everything I do and all that I achieve.
- I had a few very unexpected but picturesque moments with one or two friends. Some fleeting, some lasting and but all a nice reminder that happiness should be easy and peaceful and full – not make you cry.
- I got to eat cheese again!
- I went on the nicest summer road trip which heavily featured the song Body by Brando.
- I threw a fun party.
- I went to a House/EDM rave which was all strobe lights and absolutely demolished my only workable pair of shoes.
- Worked at the gym! Made some really sweet friends. It was also really nice that after a series of rejections I got offered three part time jobs in a row which was a great indication that all my work in retail and at uni has made me more employable than I was at 18.
- CA’d Thropy (this means I was a co-chief adjudicator which means I was a big boss judge at the North Island Novice Debating tournament). This was so important to me for reasons too strange to properly explain but in essence, it indicated real genuine respect from people I really like; it put me in a role I have watched lots of people I love and admire do and it consolidated that for all of its flaws and all of the lame jokes and ribbing and late nights I have put up with – debating was worth cultivating. Also Auckland won which was special.
- I grew my hair out (despite advice from every hairdresser in the world).
- I had my last lecture at Auckland University!
- I went on lots of fun mini adventures with my best friends which is a good reminder of how much I genuinely like the people around me. These friendships are real and I want to know them forever.
- I played lacrosse again! In the world’s most dysfunctional but wholesome team. It was BIG fun and so nice to get back into a sport that I loved.
- I went overseas – here I am writing this in Greece lmao – these are places I have only dreamed of and now they’re right here in front of me which is crazy and unbelievable but true. This trip is magic and special, and I am so happy and so grateful to be here.
- We set up a Christmas tree and lights and celebrated another special time of year together the best we could manage. My flat has been the heart of my time in Auckland and something I will talk about forever and ever and ever.
- I saw lots of my grandparents (I have 8!) which was really nice because I love them a lot but sometimes when uni and work and deadlines never stop it’s hard to tell them so properly.
- I bought some eyebrow product (finally).
That’s 22! I think something I learnt this year is I am not brave: I am scared of everything and will imagine the worst in every single situation (e.g. will this ride at rainbows end break?? Probably) – but somehow, I am usually plucky and strong and big enough to do things despite the fear because sometimes facing little bit of fear is worth living a big and honest life.
There is lots more growing and maturing to do. I have lots of things to say. Honestly, there is so much love to give. But for now I just wanted to say thank you (esp to my mum, but also generally to everyone) because the last five years (LaTe TeEns & EaRLy TwEnTies) have been a real ride and you’re all angels for sticking through.
So here is to the Inbetweens. May they be loud, may they be bright, may they be brave.
I am 23!!!