Simply 24

Society says that age is not just a number, but I used to hang on to the belief that once you've reached a certain age, there is no more barrier between you and the grown-up world. I used to think that there will come an age when all your doubt about being an adult disappear and the said world naturally fit you. I even used to consider that the beginning of your 20s marks the ultimate start of adulting while becoming 25 means you should be there already.

If I still live by those standards, I will probably be kicking off this day with severe anxiety and stress. I'm turning 24 today, a number my old calculation considered to be nearly mature. All I feel is nothing but the same as yesterday, however. I don't magically turn into a cool intelligent woman overnight just because. I certainly don't act like any wise person would either. Heck, I even think that I'm still way too young to know better sometimes.

It is settled once and for all then, that there is no use in putting that high of an expectation on yourself. Even if it doesn't show me anything different, being 24 teaches me that it's okay to be somewhere in between, like when I'm able to relate to Mirrorball by Taylor Swift and Brutal by Olivia Rodrigo at the same time, or when I realize that competing with myself is not the point of growing up and so I'm fine with being at the midpoint.

The thought actually reflects on how I chose to spend my birthday week. Instead of a festive cake, I bought flour to make a simple pancake with maple syrup. It might sound too ordinary to some, but the decision actually acquired some positive repercussions. Besides the fact that the dish was easy to make, a day spent in the kitchen turned out to be a good way to relieve the pressure from work.

Ah, work... the thing that has been eating off the better part of my week. I think it's safe to say that at 24, I'm starting to have a love-hate relationship with it. It's fine though. I'm pretty sure that loving it too much would turn me into a loner, and too much hate would certainly do me no good. It's called being average, and I actually want to roll with it.

Becoming the best doesn't evoke the same appeal now that I know being average has its own merits. It also feels liberating to accept the fact for what it is: I'm nowhere near being a proper adult and I'm fine with that. For what it's worth, it's how life works. Sometimes I glisten, showing people different versions of myself like a mirror ball, easily fitting in, while the other times I feel brutally insecure, unwanted, and anxious. Being 24 means I will cherish all of this thoughit's a roller coaster ride of emotion that I believe you will miss when you're old.


As an afterword, I want to thank my friends for these beautiful cuisines. My belly is full and I like it.