22 Birthdays

Every birthday I love to write about how far along I have come that year, a romantic letter for 1, if you may.

On this birthday too, I have many such accomplishments to write about. However, this heart simply has no space for pride tonight.

When I woke up this morning I wished with all my heart that I was not in bed.

Then, I lay there a lot longer.

I was thinking about where I would rather be-

roaming, exploring a palace in a quaint South Indian town, making up cute stories of everything I did there as a princess in my previous life- dancing through glorious hallways, running down winding staircases, adorning myself in crafted mirrors.

The Mysore Palace is a symbol of many things for many people. For me, it is a sign of everything that could have been. A love that I lost, a life that I could never create, a time that will never come back.

Or maybe I want to be in the cold neighbourhoods of Indiranagar, watching pretty flowers that have bloomed and children running off to school. I want to wear a large red hoodie and order breakfast dosas. I want us to share our dosas because for me the way you ate always seemed tastier. I want to feel cold hard mosaic tiles and large wooden doors. I want to feel at home, even if for just one day.

22 birthdays today.

I’ve been asking everyone what they were up to when they were 22, and my favourite response so far has been from my 26-year-old friend, who claimed he was ‘having lots of sex’, other responses had to do with college, travel, and a bunch of other FOMO inducing statements.

Be 22 or be 30, or be 40, every year I don’t celebrate with you I might never truly be happy, no matter how hard I try. But what do I know? I’m only 22.