20. Twenty. Two decades. 7305 days. 1,75,320 hours. 10,529,200 minutes. 631,152,000 seconds. Phew! Looks like it’s been a while, I’ve been here for a really long while.
And yes, if you’re still wondering, that’s how old I am, now.
Birthdays are special. Each one make you look back and realize how much has changed, how different things were exactly 365 days before this one, and makes you wonder how they will be 365 after. Birthdays cloud your mind with curiosity, inhibition and fear of the imminent, but also leave it with this flicker of hope, excitement and want of a better future, somewhat balancing things out in your confused little head.
I think the whole point of birthdays is to make you feel special for a WHOLE DAY. Now, how often does every friend of yours decide to call and make conversation with you? And how many times a year does every single acquaintance take out the full thirty seconds to wish you? Once. Just about once a year. We love to feel important, don’t we? And this day fulfils just that desire.
And the midnight surprises are the best. Especially when you’re in college, in a girl’s hostel. The amount of effort made by your friends to make sure you can’t sniff out the surprise and to ensure that every candle is in place on the cake and that each moment of commencement of your new year is memorable for you. It’s just overwhelming.
And you know what’s even better than a midnight surprise? A letter from a loved one, somebody who is with you in every sense apart from the physical one. The words in a letter transcend their literal meaning and touch a chord within you, one you may not have known existed. It’s like a part of that person’s soul is right there with you.
The most awkward part of a birthday, you ask? Well, that’s undoubtedly the minute or so when all your friends decide to sing for you in the a classroom full of people, or a restaurant full of strangers or right in the middle of the street (Yes, all three happened, this year that too). And you end up standing in the middle of everything, blushing and embarrassed, not knowing what you’re supposed to do.
The most difficult thing for me to cope with this year was… was the fact that I was a teenager no more. No longer did I come in the “oh-its-alright-you’re-still-a-kid” category. Did I just outgrow it? Overnight (yes, I mean literally, here)? Am I to start feeling older? How does that work? Now do you grow up overnight (yes, somehow I have to keep stressing on that)? Am I supposed to suddenly have more mature thoughts and *appear* more sensible, than I was, like, a few hours ago?
What if I want be Twen-teen this year? Yes, it’s the awkward age (I just made up) that defines somebody who just cannot come to terms with the fact that she’s a teeny weeny bit too old to be a teenager now. Or am I supposed to just suck it up and just “grow-up-gracefully”?
Anyway, who defines what I’m “supposed” to be doing anyway? Society just sets vague standards for us to meet, and anything out of the ordinary is shunned and deemed unacceptable instantly. What if I just want to act like the seven-year-old I am inside? What if I want to behave like an adult only when the situation demands? What if I don’t like time moving just so quickly and I just want it to pause, and let me take a breath?