Today I turn twenty-four.
Four-year-old me had a teddy bears' picnic. Now I'm not sure a four year old can actually show disdain, but some people turned up with soft toys that weren't bears (as stipulated on the invitation) and let's just say I wasn't impressed. There was also a dramatic game of pass the parcel in which a boy, who was highly allergic to peanuts, won a Snickers bar in one of the layers.
I really liked fairies. I saw one once. I mean, yes, it was probably a dragonfly. But I was six and I saw one. It was right by the spot I'd leave letters for them and it flew right past my head. One came to my sixth birthday party too. She was a lot bigger than I'd imagined though. Grown adult sized even. But of course, she'd used magic so that she didn't get lost amongst a party of six-year-olds.
At ten, I thought it might be nice to be an author. Not simply a writer. An author. I was going to write books. I put the book writing on hold for my birthday though and had a disco. I didn't particularly like discos. I'd even been to a few I'd actively disliked. But everyone had a disco for their tenth birthday. So I had one too. Because at ten, you want to fit in. And, actually, I didn't hate mine. I came to the conclusion – probably around the time we started a conga line surrounded by balloons in a rented hall – that I might have quite enjoyed it.
I was going to be a journalist. Or at least that's what my UCAS acceptance offers told me anyway. I hadn't realised that I didn't actually want to be a journalist yet. All I really knew on my eighteenth birthday was that I was very drunk from the plastic bottle of vodka and orange that I'd snuck into the pub, ignoring the fact that I was finally old enough to buy my own drinks. That and it was raining a lot outside. Which was weird because it never rains on my birthday.
I woke up to the first few bars of Taylor Swift on my third morning in Disneyland Paris. The day before, a giant rabbit smashed my phone, but it didn't even bother me because I was spending four days with my best friend in my at-the-time favourite place. I'd also just started a new job. In Marketing. In a real office with nice people and shiny Apple Macs. I liked twenty-two.
Today I turn twenty-four...
I say I like reading, but what I really mean is I like buying books and starting them but never finishing them. Or re-reading the same books again and again, because I like knowing how they turn out and I hate surprises.
I also like buying dresses that I then send back because the sleeves aren't quite right, or it's five centimetres too short or, god forbid, it creases. I'm not picky though.
I like birthdays less than I used to.
There's a part of me that likes to think that maybe I did see a fairy that day. I haven't written a book yet, this blog is the closest I've come. I realised I didn't want to be a journalist whilst studying to become said journalist. So I left. If I've progressed in at least one way since the age of ten, it's getting good at not doing things I don't want to do. Some people call it stubborn. They are correct.