24

I’ve been reserved for the last few days trying to quieten the noise in my head and focus in on how I’m feeling about another sun rotation.

The following is an excerpt of a diary entry from 2011 that I wrote about my fascination with being 24 years old. It’s somewhat poignant, being able to reflect on my headspace this way. At the time I was severely depressed and anxious, and my obsession with the age I am now stemmed from a desire to be free from the grips of adolescence, overprotective parents, and a frustration with regurgitating information to satisfy my teachers at school. Some of these musings came true, others faded over time along with all of my other teenage daydreaming.

Old enough to have a blossoming career, working my way up some kind of business ladder, young enough that it is still acceptable to build a pillow fort inside my apartment furnished with kitschy knick-knacks and thrift store finds. Old enough to be free from parental controls, young enough to still get a hug from your mum when you needed it most. Old enough to be in love and young enough to be stupid about it all.

Getting older is weird because inside your head you still feel like that same 16 year old writing in her journal, but now you have more lines where your eyes crease when you smile, you have nightmares about your hair turning grey (true story), but you hope that you have a little more wisdom and finesse about you. All you can really hope for, however, is that the next 365 days on this random floating rock in space that we all happen to co-exist on, will continue to be better than the days that have already passed.

MemoirCarolyn West