this is what it feels like (to turn twenty)

Two decades sound short when it is used in a mathematical equation, even shorter when you’re in earth science class and you compare it to how long mankind has been around; it’s only longest when you live through it—which, by the time this blog post is up, I will have done so.

I’m not going to bore you with all the life lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty years; if I did, we’d be here quite a while and this blog post would end up being as long as my 2024 dissertation has to be. Allow me to say rather selfishly that I have been through a lot this year and I fear more is coming my way. There were times when I had absolutely lost my way and neared the brink of giving up, but someone was always there to show me the view that lies ahead.

“柳暗花明又一村,” as my mom said.

I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to; that is a privilege within my grasp that I have come to realize as I turn twenty.

Turning older is by default, but growing up is a choice. I continue to learn more every single year from my mistakes, my wins, books, films, and—most importantly—the people around me. My one wish is that this persists in coming years: may I never stop learning, may I never stop growing. Because to put a stunting pin in one’s own growth is a reality so appalling I would never wish it upon my worst enemies (if I had any).

So I push the candles into the cake (chocolate, of course), light the candles, close my eyes, and make a wish. I celebrate how far I have come and how much farther I can go.

Happy twenty. Let’s make it count.