i don't know about you, but i'm not feeling twenty two anymore.

19 Feb 2021

It's my twenty-third birthday this weekend, and if I'm perfectly honest, I'm not really over being twenty-two. I think because I turned twenty-two just before COVID hit it was a little bittersweet. I got to see my friends, I got to go out for dinner with my family, I got to have a party of sorts, and I brought some cake into uni to celebrate. It was a pretty normal day but little did we know that less than a month later, everything would change. I'm pretty sure whenever Taylor Swift said 'I'm feeling twenty-two' she didn't mean that she was just sitting in the house all day not getting to live life to the full. Yes I feel 'happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time' but my official Taylor Swift birthday is over and what do I have to show for it! Instead of posting a reflective post on everything I've done this year (since it's really not been very much) I thought it would be a fun opportunity for a little q and a with yours truly! A MASSIVE thank you to everyone who contributed to this, I quite literally could not have done it without you. All of their sites are linked with their questions so make sure to check them out and show them some love! So here are twenty-three questions for twenty-three years...

1) What is the biggest thing you learnt being twenty-two?

From Paige

It's been a funny old year, twenty-two. I feel like I didn't achieve very much because I was stuck inside all the time. I think the biggest thing I learnt though was definitely the unpredictability of life! I was in uni when news of lockdowns hit but as it was over St Patrick's day we were actually off on an extended weekend so the last time I'd seen any of my classmates was the Friday and then we were just informed on Tuesday that we wouldn't be going back! It sucked massively at the time that I didn't get to say goodbye to my friends that I'd spent the last three and a half years with or to finish up uni the way that I'd always wanted. I didn't even get a graduation ceremony! In hindsight, though I'm so glad that I don't still have to put up with online classes because even half a semester was not fun! I think I've learned that I don't need to always plan my life out to a T and that things will just happen and I'll just be okay with it. Life is pretty unpredictable and we have no clue what the future holds even without a pandemic!

2) What are you most looking forward to about being twenty-three?

From Paige

It's hard to look to the future with any sort of positivity at the minute, especially when Blink-182 have informed me that nobody likes you when you're twenty-three! I guess I'm just excited to find out what life holds - it'll probably look pretty much the same. I think once you pass twenty-one, birthdays just stop being exciting and nothing in your life really changes that much. I am hoping that I get to travel a little bit though I'm not overly optimistic because I was supposed to be going to Switzerland next month but that's obviously not happening anymore! I think all you can hope for is that each year is better than the last and with 2020 defining my twenty-third year of life, it shouldn't be a hard year to beat!

3) Where is your favourite place in the world that you've visited?

From Tash

It's obviously Copenhagen but Tash specifically said I wasn't allowed to say Copenhagen for this answer so now I actually have to think. If you don't know, I love travel and I've literally been travelling since I was no age (quite literally no age because I went to Switzerland when I was about three months old) and I've been to 15 countries in total. Some more than once, and some more than five times in The Netherland's case but I think as boring as it is, I'll have to say London! I've had some of the most incredible days of my life in London and while I don't get the same instant serotonin boost that I get from thinking about Copenhagen, I think I become my truest self whenever I'm in London. I've also had very low moments in London since I'm usually there by myself, but I think the sheer joy of the highs balances it out! I've obviously loved everywhere I've travelled though and I've been to many places more beautiful and exciting than London I think the sheer nostalgia of it all clenches this title. If you're interested in reading about my travel history, I've published two travel diaries, from 1998-2009 and from 2010-2020.

4) What are your reading goals for the next twelve months?

From Emma

I currently have my Goodreads goal set at 40 but that's a very conservative amount - I'm hoping to be able to read at least double that but I think my main goal is just to really enjoy the books that I'm reading and make a dent in the books I already own before inevitably purchasing new ones. As I'm writing this I've currently read twelve books so far this year. Some are new favourites and some have been disappointments but all things considered, I think my reading year is off to a great start! If you want to keep up with my reading and see how well I'm achieving my goals you can follow me on Goodreads!

5) Give us some photography tips

From Emma

One of my favourite things about blogging (especially travel blogging) is actually getting to take the pictures. That's why every picture you see on my blog was taken by me (or directed by me if I'm in it). I've been into photography since I was a kid when my parents would always get us disposable cameras for our holidays. I think it's important to take inspiration from others, if you see a style that you like, don't straight up copy it but have a play around and see if you can come up with a similar vibe. I think the biggest tip I can give you though is to practice and to get to know your gear! You don't need a super pricey camera to take good photos, as long as you understand your camera and keep working at getting better at your craft the results will come themselves!

6) What was your most embarrassing moment of being twenty-two?

From Emma

Trust Emma to want me to embarrass myself online! Honestly, this probably happened a few weeks ago when I was meeting up with my friend to go on a nice socially distanced walk to grab a coffee. She texted me to say that she was outside so I enthusiastically bounded over to her car, peered in for probably too long and wondering why she wasn't coming out, looked up and saw her on the other side of the street! I had stared straight through the window of someone else's car while they were inside. I was MORTIFIED!

7) What has been your proudest moment in your twenty-three years?

From Rachel

I feel like it's a very generic answer but it's probably graduating. I graduated this summer with 2:1 in Biomedical Sciences and I have the certificate to prove it but no graduation photos because COVID derailed all plans of that. I wasn't the best in school, I was in the top class so I should have performed better than I did but when my A-level grades came out as BCC I was a little disheartened. I didn't get into my university of choice and ended up at my backup school. Ultimately I ended up very happy where I was and I can't picture myself attending anywhere else but I think at the time I just had no expectations for success so whenever I was able to have the best four years and graduate with a 2:1 at the end was just such a great achievement for me!

8) Best Birthday you have had?

From Sarah

This is such a fun question! I think it's for sure my twentieth! I mentioned in an earlier question that one of my favourite places is London because of all the fun times I'd had there and that's where I spent my twentieth birthday! I flew over to see Hamilton with my friend and it was such a fun experience. I'd been a fan for so long and I had actually booked the tickets the January before and they were a gift for my nineteenth birthday so it was a day that was over a year in the making but it was such a good time.

That being said, my twenty-first was also great because I had my friends plan a party for me and it was Eurovision themed. We had Eurovision music playing, everyone bought a dish from a different country and it was so fun just to spend time with some of my favourite people.

9) What is your earliest childhood memory?

From Alice

Oh, what a good question, and from a fellow Alice too! I think it's hard to know what is a real memory and what I only know from watching old childhood home videos. I'd love to say that I remember driving so badly in the kiddie cars at Legoland that the supervisor had to come and push me around but in reality, I think I only remember that from watching a recording of it! One of my earliest memories that I actually remember is being in creche at church. I've been going to a different church for almost twenty years now and I couldn't even tell you what this building looked like but for some reason I have a distinct memory of sitting on the floor, listening to a talk with a little bowl of sweets! It's funny what things our brains choose to remember isn't it!

10) What is a book that has changed your perspective on things?

From Mandy

Oooh, I love this question! Obviously, as a Christian, the book that has changed my perspective the most is the Bible but I'll also share some fiction picks too because if you know me, you know I love to recommend some books to people! I think 'The Song of Achilles' by Madeline Miller really changed my perspective on how reading could feel. I think until that point I'd only really been reading books that I felt I had to read rather than ones that I wanted to. 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas is one I think everyone should read. I read it in 2018 and it was really fundamental in my understanding of police brutality and institutionalised racism. 'Dear Martin' by Nic Stone is really great for that purpose too. I really want to start reading more memoirs and non-fiction books because I feel like I'm very stuck in my fictional ways so if you have any suggestions of any you think are absolute must-reads let me know!

11) If you could go back in time and tell your younger self something, what would it be and what age would you visit?

From Rachael

Okay so it would definitely be Summer of 2016 me because she needed it the most and I'd literally just say "Stop panicking, you're gonna be fine!" The summer of 2016 was the summer after my A-Levels and I was honestly an anxious mess the whole time. I would cry on almost a daily basis and I couldn't stomach my food and anytime anyone mentioned A-Levels or university I would just break down which was made worse by the fact that it was obviously all anyone wanted to talk about. I guess part of it was me knowing deep down that I hadn't done enough to get into my university of choice and I inevitably didn't but I spent almost the whole summer worrying about it when ultimately I ended up in a much better place for me. It's funny though because that's also the summer that I went to Copenhagen for the first time and it's only just struck me that maybe that's why that city holds such a strong grasp on my heart because I went there at such a turbulent time in my life but felt such peace.

12) if you could ask your future self one thing what would it be?

From Rachael

Honestly, probably just something simple like 'How are you?'. I don't know if I'd want to know too much about my future. I tend to be a bit of a dreamer naturally so I feel like no matter how they said my life was going, no matter how good or bad, I'd be wishing for something else. But you can never have enough people caring enough about you just to ask how you are and how you're feeling and I think future me would appreciate that a lot!

13) What is your favourite musical?

From Katlyn

I decided to ask my friend for a question because I knew she'd come through with fun ones that nobody else would ask and I could only oblige when she asked me to talk about musicals! We actually went to go and see Jeremy Jordan together in London a few years ago and it was such a magical experience. If you're unfamiliar with Jeremy Jordan go search him up on YouTube and have some fun! My favourite musical that I've been in is definitely Little Shop of Horrors because I just had so much fun in that production, but I think my favourite musical is probably Newsies. I just love all of the music and dancing so much and Jeremy Jordan is in it so it's a win-win!

14) What are your favourite TV Shows you've seen?

From Tash

I've been such a fan of tv for years! I made my Tumblr blog back in 2012 solely so I could post about House of Anubis and so fandom life has really been such a huge part of my life for so long. I honestly don't know how to like things casually so every show I watch is my new favourite. Some of my favourites throughout the years have been: New Girl, BBC Sherlock, Money Heist,  High Seas. That being said though I think the tile for my all-time fave has to go to OG Skam Norway! If you're unfamiliar, Skam was a web series produced in Norway and I truly believe it revolutionised television! It followed a group of students at a Norwegian high school with each season following a different character's perspective and it tackled topics such as toxic relationships, drugs, alcohol, sexual assault, sexuality, mental illness and religion. It also had extra elements such as social media posts from the characters and each episode actually dropped in clips throughout the week that were posted as the events were taking place. It's the one show that I always go back to time and time again and was very fundamental in my current love for foreign shows!

15) All-Time Favourite Strictly Couple?

From Emma

Another form of television that I'm a massive sucker for is British entertainment shows (I watch Pointless and House of Games every night) and none more so than Strictly Come Dancing. I've been watching Strictly religiously since I was a kid and my all-time favourite couple remains and will probably forever remain as Danny Mac and Oti Mabuse! I swear I still watch their samba at least once a month, it may be a problem.

16) Predictions for Eurovision 2021?

From Emma

If you didn't know I absolutely LOVE Eurovision. Final day is truly my favourite day of the year and I've been hosting parties every year since I was about 14. I've been following the contest properly though since 2015 and actually got to attend in person on 2017! This year's Eurovision is very likely going to be a little weird. It's also a little early to have any idea of what to expect because there are still so many songs to come out but after the cancellation of last years contest (which I did a post on), a lot of artists are returning this year so I'm excited to hear all of the new entries! I actually got to provide vocals for the Icelandic track which was such a fun experience and I can't wait to hear how it turns out! I still can't quite believe that my voice is going to feature on a Eurovision song!

17) What is your favourite book you've ever read?

From Shannon

This is such a hard question because I honestly don't know if I have an answer! I've always said that my top two are The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli but both for very different reasons. As I mentioned, The Song of Achilles is the book that really made me fall in love with reading again after I read it in 2017 and it was the book that caused me to sign up for a Goodreads account so it holds a very special place in my heart, but it's also beautifully written and makes me feel a lot of things! Simon vs, on the other hand, is just pure and utter joy and I also read it on the plane to and from London on my birthday so I think some of my love of it stems from there. I have read a lot of books recently that I've loved a lot and might challenge for this title but these ones have a certain sense of nostalgia with them that propels them to the top of the list.

18) What is your dream career?

From Shannon

I actually really love what I do now! Although my degree is in Biomed, I knew fairly early on that it wasn't what I wanted to pursue careerwise. I currently work part-time as social media (general online content) manager for a Christian organisation called Intercontinental Church Society and I also freelance with another local Christian charity called New Wine Ireland in a creative and admin capacity. I have so much experience with social media and growing with it since I made my Twitter account aged 12 (illegally might I add but that's a whole other story) and I've been creating content ever since I made my Tumblr when I was thirteen so I can always see myself doing something in this capacity. I'd love to maybe work for a lifestyle brand in some capacity in the future but for now I'm really happy with where I am!

19) What is your favourite book series?

From Louise

If you've been here for a while this isn't going to come as a shock, but it's The Diviners by Libba Bray! I just love absolutely everything about this series: the characters, the setting, the story, and just the whole general vibe. There's a whole post on it here if you want to check it out! Honourable mentions though gotta go to the Strange The Dreamer duology for being the most beautiful books in existence, and obviously to The Hunger Games for being the literal only books I read as a teenager, and Harry Potter for being so generally life-defining! I really don't read that many book series though and it's definitely something that I want to resolve this year!

20) If COVID wasn't a thing, what would you be doing for your birthday this year?

From Louise

I'd probably go out for dinner with friends and then play some board games because that's essentially what I do every year and if it ain't broken don't fix it! It'll probably actually look fairly similar this year anyway except instead of going out to eat I'll be ordering food in and playing games with my family instead of with my friends! I've honestly never been huge on doing much for my birthday anyway and twenty-three just seems like a non-event!

21) If you had to give yourself a theme song, what would it be?

From Louise

Okay so I wish I had a fun (or even cool) answer for this because this is such a fun question but it would almost definitely be 'Wondering' from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. It was my most played song of 2020 according to my Spotify wrapped at that feels about right. I remember the first time I heard it I was in the uni library, probably trying to write my literature review and listening to my Discover Weekly playlist and whenever this one came on it just immediately hit me way too hard and I sobbed in the middle of the library. And this was about six months before I'd even seen the show. It's truly the time I've felt closest to exhibiting main character energy and so for that reason, I think it has to be my theme song. It's a song about dwelling on past choices and being worried about making mistakes and my enneagram nine just screams about it! It's probably not the most optimistic pick in the world but that's just where I'm at right now!

22) Describe your perfect day

From Ashleigh and Joanne

Okay, so this is a tough one because it definitely changes from time to time but right now I think it would start with a trip to a local coffee shop for brunch and a flat white, then I'd head to a little park and read a book. It's sunny, but not too hot! Then I'd probably have a wander around a museum or gallery for a while before heading home. Then I'd possible go for a walk somewhere pretty with friends and take some photos and then finish off with a games night and order a pizza from Domino's. Ask me this next week and it will probably be something different but I think because of lockdown I just want to see people and experience things!

23) Has lockdown life brought you any unexpected joys?

From Ashleigh and Joanne

Actually in a lot of ways I've really enjoyed lockdown. I'm an introvert so I really don't mind having to spend copious amounts of time by myself. Obviously, there's been a lot of not so great things about it but one thing I've really loved is having more time to read. Pre-lockdown in 2020 I'd only read 3 books but after lockdown, I read another 50 books so it's safe to say that lockdown did wonders for my reading productivity! I also enjoyed having time to myself to think and escape the hustle and bustle of life, especially final year uni life, but at the same time, I'm so ready for normality to resume so I can get back to doing stuff again!

... and that's the end! I really hope you liked this post and enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me! I had so much fun creating this and once again a massive thank you to everyone who contributed questions, don't forget to check out their links while you're here and I hope twenty-three is a great year!

Shop the post

Post a Comment