As some of you know I recently celebrated my 20th Birthday. Thats one quarter of my life gone, and that's if I'm lucky enough to make it another three quarters. As usual I was dreading my birthday. The last time I didn't fear the 25th of May was back in 2010 when I was turning sixteen. I remember dressing up in a questionable combination of navy high waisted shorts, a zip up oversized floral tank, metallic purple sky high heels and fishnet tights. I celebrated into my birthday and hardly made it past eight shots and midnight before my legs gave in and I passed out. That was for the best though since less people saw my horrible sweet sixteen attire that night. Ever since that birthday aging became a feared event in my life. I covered up my 17th birthday by inviting my sophomore class to an all you can eat Teppanyaki event. My 18th birthday I was first in line at the grocery store to buy a carton of pocket sized liquor bottles to help the day pass by. It did so with many tears on my part any time someone began to sing happy birthday at me. And my 19th birthday I spent over the phone crying to my then boyfriend listening to his drunk rendition of "Happy Birthday" while simultaneously having to take an intoxicated friend of mine home whilst the rest of my birthday posse went clubbing. Safe to say Birthdays aren't my thing. But this year everything leading up to my birthday felt different..... it felt a lot worse. I spent my first birthday abroad without my family. On May 24th I ran into a guy who had "You're not 19 forever" tattooed onto his arm, making me burst into uncomfortable laughter. With the strangers tattoo as an excuse I went full out celebrating into my birthday. I did shots for the first time since my 16th birthday, danced with a questionable amount of strangers and in my personal preference saw way too many naked people. At midnight as per my tradition I was nearly in full fetal position on the floor with my friends trying to calm me down. I hadn't changed too much from when I was 19, but I found my self being twenty, single and unsuccessful. My only form of consolation was reading about what I had wanted to be at 20, because ever since I was 8 I have been a meticulous diary keeper. I have around five fat books filled with my thoughts and doodles since the second grade to this day. Reading back to fourth grade Lotta "I will never put boys over my career. If I do not have a job I will simply not date". Reading that made me feel mature and on the right path... If only it wasn't followed by doodles of my dream to get tits by the end of summer that year (they still haven't come).
I kept on repeating in my head that when I turn twenty I will have no relationship (even though I have a job) and I haven't done anything noteworthy in my life. I felt a flash black to the summer after my Junior year when a fellow classmate asked me what I had done that summer and I proudly told her stories of my vacation in Italy. Excessive bar hopping, cliff diving with strangers and skinny dipping from the pier at night. When I asked her what she had done she calmly told me "I spent my summer in a third world country helping to deliver babies." In that moment I had never felt so insignificant and shaken about my interests. I dreaded my future, I was doing nothing.
But I hadn't done nothing. If I wanted to become a doctor I too could have spent my time abroad in a medical facility, but I didn't. Instead my interests lie in Fashion and Film. I have worked on different film sets helping make shorts and had numerous collaborations with inspirational fashion brands. In the field where I want to be ten years from now I had started to make my mark. Sure I am an unsuccessful doctor, lawyer and magician but I am successful when it comes to fashion marketing.
Ok so I'm twenty and single.
After my last relationship went bust I would shun any couple I saw. I was fixated on feeling humiliated for not dating or having a relationship with anyone special. By the age of 20 most of my family members had met their life partner. By the age of twenty I had had only one sort-of-real-boyfriend. Not a big accomplishment. For me being single meant I was utterly alone against the world.
But I go out to dinners, bars, brunches, shopping dates or even just swimming at the lake all the time with my friends. I shouldn't need the one relationship, I had many relationships that needed time and attention. I spent my actual twentieth birthday at a beach club in Mallorca drinking white wine with some of the best people I have ever met or most likely will ever meet in my life, in the sun under my oversized white hat and lemonkini and I don't think I could have ended my teenage years any better. In truth I'm not really single at all, I have my friends.
As Soon as I stopped comparing my twenty years of life to those of my close friends, family and peers I realized I wasn't alone and I am not unsuccessful, however I still am twenty. The only thing to do is to embrace it, after all this is the age most of my second grade diary entries deemed would be my best year ever (except not because I adopted a japanese daughter, sorry to disappoint you eight year old Lotta but kids will have to wait.)
(M Y B I R T H D A Y S U I T)
(Lemon Print Monokini - American Apparel)
(White Fedora - Forever 21)
(Neon Clutch - Suite Blanco)
(Fringe Kimono - Neverfullydressed.co.uk)
(Clear Sunnies - Topshop)
(Levi 501 cut-offs)