in sophies mind

It feels like a perfect night
To dress up like hipsters

Haha, I’m not going to dress like a hipster or rewrite the whole “22” song by Taylor Swift. But it is your twenty second birthday today! Happy Birthday to You gal! The first year you’re “celebrating” without your family, how strange. Normally you would be back home in Northern Ireland or previously on holiday not this year. You decided to stay in Portsmouth and work in a summer school and the union. Mainly because you needed the money, but that work made you realise a lot about you and the way businesses operate and shouldn’t operate haha.

You don’t like Taylor Swift or the song 22 but it’s a classic title to use, so don’t judge yourself. Embrace it! Because twenty two only happens once. But guess what, you can use a Blink 182 lyric next year so that’s one to look forward too, haha.

Your Twenty first year

Anyway, in your twenty first year you accomplished a lot, some things you wouldn’t normally do which was such a huge step in your life. Whilst some people are graduating at twenty one, many of your high school friends did but you were finishing off your second year of university. You threw yourself into study and trying to truly do better than you did in first year. Well you definitely did that, you achieved the best marks in your essays, projects and exams than ever before.

Finishing the second year with a first, major proud moment when I received the news of my last essay gaining 83% . When it was made clear I would progress into third year with a first in the bag. Now your goal is to graduate with a first class honours, with the amount of hard work you did in second year has shown you that it is possible. You were really hard on yourself when you started this year, telling yourself that a first class honours was out of your ability. But that is far from the truth and now you know it.

One thing that truly made your year was accepting yourself. Whilst you are still working on self-love and care, you’ve learnt that you need time for yourself. Do things that make you happy and learn new skills you want to learn. Italian was one of those skills you wanted to learn so you did it! Listening to what you want and doing just that is what made you happy. Learning this came out of you being ill for a few months, having stomach issues, headaches and just feeling like poop. You had to go to multiple doctors appointments, get blood tests and take medication for the first time in many many years. Something you never normally had to do so it shifted a mindset in you. You need to remember to take care of you!

After 4 years you stopped being vegan and went back to being a vegetarian, you listened to your body and did the right thing. Despite what everyone said, you rose above the negativity placed upon you and continue to be in good health. Now you are mainly plant based again but you will not label it because of past experiences. Labels are not the way forward, freely live your own way and you will do well.

You have gained a few jobs this year, working in the student union shop and reception, being an activity leader in a summer school. They have helped you grow professionally, gain new experiences. You learnt so many new skills whilst leading activities, it was overwhelming at times yes. But you never came up despite saying it a couple of times. You know the role was special to you and you wanted to give the children learning English fun and entertaining trips and activities to do. Going to multiple locations you had never been to before, having to quickly learn some history and routes before attending. You understood that you have patience and the ability to cope under pressure so that was good. Well done you!

Turning Twenty Two

Whilst you are turning twenty two today, you know it is just a number. You learnt that from your gramps’ saying “I’m in my prime”, meaning you’re just as old as you feel you are. If your 77 year old granda can feel like he is 50 or 60 then you too can stop worrying about the age. You have been adulting for two years now. Living away from home and family in a different country, paying bills and trying to build something for yourself. That will continue to do but that’s not all you are. You are a fun, bubbly and smart individual with many hobbies and ambitions. You are more than a number so enjoy it!

So here’s too your twenty second year and all the amazing and exciting things you will accomplish in it. Look forward to reflecting on those in another open letter next year.

But ultimately, I guess I’m just feeling 22 now.

Related post: Twenty Things I Learnt in Twenty Years

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