It's official: I'm 23 years old. I'm beyond the age of realising I'm no longer 21. I'm no longer required to carry I.D. with me everywhere, even though I will anyway because bouncers everywhere are suspicious of anybody who doesn't have some form of identification (and even those that do.)
I'm at age where I should start making some of the biggest choices of my life. (You know, the ones that are left after deciding what to study in college.) This time last year, that would have terrified me. But I have a degree. I've graduated. I've gone on the job hunt, and I've been told that - because of my experiences in and out of college - I would have been hired on the spot for a dream job...if the company were hiring. (It was still awesome to hear that.)
And, I've changed dirty nappies. Nothing's really so bad after you've seen the contents of a dirty nappy.
I've been out of college and working on a more-or-less part-time basis for about nine months now. Give or take a few weeks. I've avoided schools, and I avoided making any major decisions in a rush, because I've realised the importance of making my mind up properly. This is the year I plan on beginning my Masters course. I took a long time to mull it over, and to earn the money to pay for it, and I actually made up my mind on something that I fell in love with the moment I looked at the course description.
It's a big step in the right direction.
The only other major decision I've made before now has been to actually set up the publishing house I've been talking about with friends for a year now, and been planning to do since...2007? Around then. I've taken my time to really consider that one, because it's a lot to take on. Obviously, it'll be a small operation to begin with. I need to be able to run it part-time while doing my Masters.
I have plans for it, though. I've considered the easiest ways to run the business while also doing a lot of other work, and all things going according to plan, I'll be laying the foundations for it over the next few months. It's incredibly exciting, and I finally feel like I understand enough about publishing and business to make a decent attempt at starting this thing.
I don't think I could have done it even a few months ago. The world seemed too...intimidating? I don't know if that's necessarily the right word for it, but things were definitely different. A birthday wasn't the big change I needed, of course, but I like to put a date on things. It's like how I use New Year's Day to make a fresh start. I would have used February 1st if I needed the extra month to prepare for what I had planned for the year, but I was good to go earlier.
To be perfectly honest, I don't see much else changing now that I've turned 23. I don't see myself suddenly dressing differently, or acting differently, or changing the plans I began executing only 6 weeks ago. I'm still going to be publishing the books I wanted to publish this year. I just feel like maybe I can live up the whole "must be mature" idea that I've put in my head.
And, just for the record, having Saturdays off work is amazing. This is the first time I've had one off since November, and that was because I had graduated the day before. And, well, I didn't want to risk having "grown-up problems" in work the next day. But today was just about lazing around the house, and having pancakes for breakfast, and getting to play Final Fantasy 13.
Then again, maybe turning 23 doesn't mean being mature.