I started my 22nd birthday with a funeral at 11:30 A.M. That wasn’t for comedic purposes, that actually happened. Unfortunately, a very close friend of the family had passed away and I took the whole day off to attend his funeral in my home town with my family. Despite it being a very sad occassion, and despite crying waterfalls beside my sister when Yesterday by The Beatles started playing at the service (it was a very significant choice of song remembering his love for the Beatles and how he was the one who introduced me to them), the sky was blue and cloudless and it gave all of us a little hope. Every hug felt heavy and light at the same time and every handshake felt comforting.

Having said that, my birthday was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, for a lot of different reasons.

When we got home in the afternoon, it was Black Friday all over town, making it hard for my sister and I to actually get the stuff we urgently needed for our dinner plans (like a dress and polaroid film). That was strike #2, because I was starting to get quite pissed and help, I didn’t have a dress!!! and my poor younger sister had to put up with that.

I only realised that she was trying to stall me the entire time so my close friends could surprise me in Central! Then I was really happy for a few minutes before I hugged everyone with full arms of presents and dashed home to get ready. (Can you believe they also gifted me a box of pasta ’cause they knew I liked pasta? I have the cutest friends.)

My boyfriend met my mother for the first time that night, at a Mongolian buffet restaurant. Despite being really awkward throughout, having nervous fits and getting way too stuffed with the food, I think everyone got on well. After that, I was tired. But not tired enough to start crying about G’s birthday presents for me. Five glasses of my favourite dessert, Panna Cotta, a Lamy pen that I find beautiful and an old typewriter! I was livid! In a good way!

The next few days were spent 3D-minigolfing, watching Fantastic Beasts and receiving lovely flowers at work.

And that was my birthday. Not a big party or anything. Just a lot of nerve-play through-out. But then again, people say at twenty-two, that’s where it all starts.

The blog

I took a bit of a break from blogging before this to re-evaluate my values and plans for this platform of mine. I took a leap to WordPress not too long ago when I felt the urge to post content that I wasn’t very fond of.

Don’t get me wrong, the content was still my content and I was proud to put it out there and to receive such great support from new readers, but it was also content that I felt I was slightly forced to write. You see, WordPress costs money and whenever something costs me money, I feel obliged to work hard on something so I actually get something out of the investment. For me, that was gaining more readers, putting myself out there some more, establishing a brand that was based on myself. And for what? … Yeah, I lost the answer to that.

I kept it going for a short while until I hit the brake. I’d had 50+ blog posts scheduled and planned for the future but the more I looked at my content planner, the more I frowned and the more I distanced myself from my blog. The space that I’d created for myself. For my thoughts. My feelings. My experiences. My ramblings. I don’t know when exactly it started to dawn on me that investing in WordPress had restricted me instead of freed me, in a way.

I canceled my WordPress plan, went back to Blogger, chose a simple, yet distinguishable-enough template and deleted a bunch of content that I no longer want to be known for. Everything that somehow seemed fake to me. Everything that was no longer relevant. Or just posts I’d like to rewrite and repost in a different tone. Who knows!

I am still the young woman I used to be when I started and despite having been on this blogging journey for so long, I don’t feel like I have anything more “together” now. Especially not my life. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever know where I’m going. So who was I trying to kid? Was I really letting go of the only thing that made me authentic on this page? My own voice? Why did I want to conform and hustle and eventually make money out of blogging? When this has never been my plan in the first place? Why did I decide to burden myself?

I know what I’m good at. And that is expression. Not Pinterest-generated lifestyle tips and blissful morning routines with a bunch of affiliate links to get me through the day.

Expression it is. As I go.