The other weekend we took a trip to our very own little hideaway, not a million miles away from home, not even an hours drive but it felt like everything had disappeared, no first impression to perfect or fake it till you make it confidence to portray, no anxiety to hide, just pubs to find and sheep shit to avoid. No need to be “grown-up” or hide the fact we care incredibly about growing up, in fact, the whole experience was a little too relaxed for the fact we are turning 21 this year. A year most of us look forward to but the realisation that this year is the last year I can be irresponsible because I’m too young to know any different stops now (or the fact that it’s the last big birthday for a while) and I’m not prepared for the responsibility to kick in after April. I’m not sure I want this year to move any quicker than it already is.
There was no pressure to be okay or even not to be, in a strange kind of way when you talk about mental health I feel there’s a strange expectation for you never to be happy or even slightly okay. For me I have this unbearable fear that I’m making it all up for attention, especially when I actually feel OK and I’m checked up on or questioned about how I’m doing because everything sounds so good when I hear it out loud.
We found a little village called Ashford-In-The-Water, that consisted of two pubs and a shop the size of a porch which is puzzling why young alcohol dependent food obsessive anti-walking teens would set up camp here in the winter months. Where the pubs close at 3 in the afternoon and there are miles between different villages and our beloved hideaway, you have to walk everywhere right at the side of the country lanes an inpossiblity to stumble with angry locals. But then again they were dogs so we were sold pretty much sold on that immediately.
Said hideaway was, The Coach House and it was perfect (I really suggest going https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/25496909?guests=1&adults=1) A beautiful off the track cottage, old beams swept through the rooms reminding us of everything this place was before and breathed luxury that tore my city genes away instantly. The hustle bustle and anxieties that I was so used to simple faded and all I wanted to do was throw on a flat cap and herd my sheep ( bit too much of a stereotype? ) Walking through the beautiful classic barn door suddenly created a carefree, early rising , bird watching 20 year old which of course is hardly ever seen in this day and age. Although deep down I was still a raging alcoholic that needed a pint because the sun was beaming down.
I was suddenly relaxed, the first morning I woke up early enough that everyone else was still asleep and the caous of the day hadn’t even begun to show itself. I sat in the window seat listening to the world wake up seeing nothing but sheep, birds and fields until it all turned to fog in the distance. Something about the country air dictates relaxation or is it the fact that when the heating is on the cottage smells like a sauna begging for stress relief or that fact the seat I was sitting in is the perfect place for a book worm, writing obsessive like myself can melt away into a creative world, maybe the trees and fields make for my perfect photography fantasy or the simple fact that my biggest worry is “normal” life, I’m wishing away to contentment in a place where I’m able to stay in this simple bird watching life and not have bills to pay and life to live. (of course another fantasy.)
It’s strange to think we were there to celebrate a 21st, not because you’d expect us to be blacked out drunk or high as a kite (although you probably would) but in fact because I can’t even begin to explain how crazy it was to get to this point and how fast we have all changed. Throughout this weekend away, I began to think about how much we used to wish to be older dreaming to finish school, to turn 18 and now we’ve passed it, it all seems a little anticlimactic to be honest. I was expecting to have it all sorted by now, unrealistic I know but god how I have let myself down with it.
Between me and my boyfriend we have had 5 years together, 3 big birthdays, one uni trip, 8 new jobs, two new cars, a handful of holidays, a million moments of pure happiness and a million more arguments, crazy depressive periods and everything else in between. It seems that everything has happened within a short amount of time, yes I know we’re not special because it happens to us all, this growing up shit.
However I’m not at looking forward to turning 21 myself, I know its some big celebration and of course I will be doing it in classy Molly style of almost insanely drunk episodes but I know that this is the last big birthday for a long time and I’m so not prepared to grow up and end my streak of hugging the toilet or waking up with no memory of the night before. I mean does it all go downhill from here? Because I swear I’m told that every year yet I actually believe it this time, do we have to behavior from the age of 21, can I actually wake up on the bathroom floor after that year, do I have to be doing what I dream of doing or at least know what I actually want to do. Is this the start of sensible behaviour because frankly I’m not sure I’m ready for any of those things. You see I made a promise to myself that I would have it all together by now and guess how much I have of it done with, yes I’m going with minus numbers too.
Although the weekend raised some strange thoughts it was truly the most relaxing 21st I will guess I’ll be having this year.