Twenty five

I have officially been walking around on this earth for a quarter of a century. If I were a piece of clothing, I might already be vintage. Or at least retro. I celebrated it couch potato-grandma-style, by baking a pumpkin cake and petting cats. Just to reaffirm that I’m old now, you know? Anyway, here’s twenty five years for you.

    • Year 1. On a cloudy Thursday with lots of wind I entered the world, probably screaming because of the unsatisfying results of the local elections the day before. We took some family photos later that year, but I refused to cooperate and made funny faces.
    • Year 2. I got accidentally – at least in their version of the story – locked in a car on a warm summer day together with the key in front of a drugstore. Being the capable one-year old I was, I couldn’t open the door by myself, so my dad had to come home from work to ‘save’ the baby.
    • Year 3. I thought it would be super cool to play hide and seek with my mother, without telling her in advance. I hid so well that my mother thought I had run away/been kidnapped.

    • Year 4. My fear for sunglasses reached a high when my kindergarten teacher wore a pair and I would not stop panicking. I refused to say what was the matter and my mother had to pick me up.
    • Year 5. Finally, primary school. I discovered the joy of climbing in trees and playing with mud. Tried riding on a pony in Spain, but the damn animal was lazy and just laid down on the ground.
    • Year 6. Went to my first gymnastics class, where we played the cat and mouse game. I was so scared of the “cat” that I cried and my mom had to pick me up.
    • Year 7. Still with my first boyfriend, who also liked to climb in trees and play with mud. He was not allowed to kiss me on the cheek, because “that’s gross”.
    • Year 8. Went to my second gymnastics class, no cat and mouse games anymore and I loved it. Also rode a donkey in Greece together with my mom, who was terrified of the donkey.
    • Year 9. Started writing my first book about Johanna 1 and Johanna 2, two plastic strawberries who went on loads of adventures. Made lots of drawings of ghosts.
    • Year 10. Anxiously watched my friend throw mandarin peels over the hedges until my neighbour screamed that she’s an oyster when one hit him on the head. Hid in the toilet until my mom forced us out to go and apologise.
    • Year 11. Was national champion with my gymnastics team. Felt very proud and got a big golden metal. My boyfriend of all of primary school broke up with me, to start dating another girl the next day. So all those mix-tapes didn’t mean anything?
    • Year 12. Got a rather big role in my end-of-primary-school musical. Had to wear clogs until my feet were bruised and sang a solo in front of the whole audience, even though I’m a terrible singer.
    • Year 13. Moved away to a new place, spent all summer alone in this new place, sort of got a cat with the house and started high school. Started my first real blog and worked on it during all my free time. Was too scared to tell anyone about it, so it was totally anonymous.
    • Year 14. Went on vacation with my best friend and her family. Wrote a totally crazy dating profile for an older lady with lots of chickens, put it on Ebay and got loads of responses. Chatted with some of the people until it got creepy.
    • Year 15. Spent the summer holidays cord dancing in the circus during the day and bowling in the evenings.
    • Year 16. Quit gymnastics because I was bullied by people I thought were my friends. Said goodbye to my beloved cat. Made new friends at school, that I still see almost every week now.
    • Year 17. Cried at a music festival while drinking booze from a coke bottle until a police officer drove me and my friend to the proper camp site. Was very much in love with a guy for the first time in my life, thought he totally liked me back, but then out of the blue started to date another girl from my class.
    • Year 18. Still in love with that guy, they split up, we kissed. Got my heart broken, decided not to trust people anymore. Quit blogging, because it wasn’t me anymore. Went on vacation with my friends for the first time and it was awesome.
    • Year 19. Graduated high school, started university. Didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my grandma. Made some friends that weren’t really friends, went out a lot.
    • Year 20. Kept myself as busy as I could, not to think too much. More parties, less sleep, lots of work, some studying.
    • Year 21. Moved to England for an Erasmus semester. Met amazing people, travelled around the UK and Ireland, learned a lot about myself.
    • Year 22. Moved back to the Netherlands, wrote my bachelor thesis, had lots of doubts about what was coming next. Moved out of my parents’ place, into my own room in a student house with a friend. Went back to university to study a master.
    • Year 23. Hated writing my master thesis, felt very down about it, didn’t know what to do next. Finally finished it, graduated, did an internship in a museum as a communication officer and loved it.
    • Year 24. Moved to Austria to volunteer for a year at a big event for gymnasts. Met amazing people, started to love mountains, explored many new places. Met someone very special.
    • Year 25. Started dating that special someone. Experienced the craziness of organizing a big event, travelled lots, had many doubts about the future. Moved to the Netherlands with that special someone, got my first ‘real’ job, trying somehow to adult.

So year 26 now, what’s next?

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