Turning 24 in Paris

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June 3, 2016

So this is what being 24 feels like. I guess some parts of it still feel just as confusing and lonely as 23, and 22, and 20 — and maybe 25 will feel that way too. Maybe life, at any given age, will always feel a little bit lonely and a little bit confusing — and a little bit of everything else.

Yesterday, with 10 minutes to go, I kept glancing at the clock¬†to see how much precious time I had left being 23. It was another rainy night in Paris and my socks were wet again, and I walked across a bridge where I could see the Eiffel Tower gleaming gold. I’ll probably never see the Eiffel Tower shine on my birthday again so I looked at it, and memorized what it looked like, and memorized how it felt to look at it.

Soon there was only one more minute left of being 23 and then voila, the clock chimed 00:00. It was my birthday and I was in Paris. Really, there was no other place I’d rather have been except perhaps, home.

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I felt relieved and proud to turn 24, but of course, also a little bit sad. I always feel a little bit sad to wish good bye to an age especially because 23 was such a big year for me. 22 was figuring out what I wanted. 23 was doing it. I don’t yet know what 24 will be but I have a feeling it will be exciting.

I’ll remember 23 as the year I met the world and the year the world met me. You see, I really only spent 2 weeks of being 23 at home so really, 23 was just me and the world. And I know this sounds terribly clich√©, but I really did grow up this year, learn a lot, and embrace life in the best possible way.

I’ll remember 23 as the year I constantly woke up in new cities, and tried new foods, and learned new languages, and met new people. Almost every day was new, and exciting, and different. For someone who doesn’t do well with change, I’m proud of how I handled all the changes of this year and I’m proud of how I did the one thing that terrified me most in the world — that is, to leave home.
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On my first morning of being 24, I walked down the streets of the 16th arrondissement which were fresh and glistening with last night’s rain, and I smiled to myself because it was my birthday. Only two people in whole city of Paris knew it was my birthday and I felt a bit special having this secret. I looked around and tried to imagine who else was celebrating her birthday but it was impossible to tell. It could have been anyone’s birthday, and I’d never have know.

Beanie, Sophie and I went for brunch and then we bought these delectable little pastries. Right before I took the metro home, I took a photo with a carousel because carousels are whimsical, and bright, and merry: and that is what I want my 24th year on this planet to be. I want twinkling lights, and bright colours, beautiful music that makes me smile, and always, always, always, a touch of magic.

 

Kazandra Pangilinan

Kazandra is probably not that different from you. She eats, sleeps,and wonders about how to make the most of this life. This blog is dedicated to the trials and triumphs she has experienced in the process of growing up in her quest to find meaning, connection and happiness.

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