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I wish, I wish, I wish I were a fish.

No, but let’s get serious now. I do have lots of wishes, especially since my birthday is coming up in less than a month’s time. The first one over the big 30 mark. Should I be feeling old? Nope! Let’s not forget how much life expectancy has increased. Maybe I should be feeling grown up and mature. Well, there’s the rub.

I overslept today, barely woke up past noon, while if I were truly mature (at least in the sense of how my parents’ lives went decades ago) I may have woken up at 8 AM – the latest! – and started doing mature, productive things like doing the weekly shopping, getting breakfast ready not for one, but two small children, cleaning the house and so on.

It can be difficult not to feel pressure to fit into a particular mould that’s been prepared by your parent’s expectations for years and years now, probably from the very instant that you took your first breath and started screaming like that was the worst thing that could happen to you in this entire universe. Even your peers might be putting some pressure on you, without them being aware that’s what’s happening – there’s a certain average age that most of them get married, have kids, advance to a certain point in their careers.

But what if you fall outside of that average and those expectations that you found were just dumped on you without asking if you’re OK with them. I know some who just don’t give a damn about societal expectations and just do their own thing, speak their mind freely and are quite happy as they are and exactly where they are in their lives. For me, that works sometime, sometimes it doesn’t and I find myself falling flat on my face, hurt by my failure to live up to those views of how my life is supposed to look like by now.

So what if I have deep feelings and own them overtly? So what if I relish in poetry in a world that’s forgotten its beauty and prefers to mock it? So what if I like movies that force you to think, to question, to listen carefully to every line instead of those that spell out everything for you and leave nothing to the imagination? So what if I get emotional  and cry while watching emotional movies?

So what if I dance all alone in my room sometimes, because the song is just that good and catchy? So what if I’m sometimes nostalgic and decide I should re-watch some silly TV show or anime from my childhood? So what if I go from listening to a really positive, upbeat, pop song, to drowning in a truly heart-wrenching ballad? So what if I enjoy fine clothes, fine wine and fine food?

So what if I revel in the summer heat when everybody else complains about it? So what if the sound of birds chirping each and every day outside my window makes me happy? So what if I get lost in pink and blue and lavender coloured sunsets? So what if I think there’s nothing better in the world than the smell of balmy evening air when the seasons are still undecided between spring and summer?

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by Christine Coley, via unsplash.com

So what if I believe in the power of kindness when there’s so much lack thereof around? So what if I believe collaboration is the solution when people around seem to be tugging in their own directions, leading nowhere at the end of the day?

I have moments when I question whether I’m doing enough with my life or if I’m wasting it away, just because I haven’t hit those milestones that others have. But then I shake myself really firmly, I give myself a couple of metaphorical slaps over the head and realise that I have nothing to apologise for.

Sure, I wish that some aspects of my existence were smoother and required less effort and energy to keep them afloat (like I was saying, I wish, I wish…). But I’m proud of who I’ve built myself to be in (soon to be) 31 years on this planet, I’ve overcome so many negative moments and picked myself up in situations where I’ve seen others simply crumble. This is what I keep telling myself as I get closer and closer to the next 28th of May.

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