For many young people, turning eighteen is exciting, as it’s an age that is considered a legal adult in many countries, and turning twenty even more so– most of us turn twenty in the environment of our first job or in university. They tell us that our twenties are the most important ages for us to grow and learn. But in the middle of both ages is the nineteenth year, often overlooked when sandwiched between the ages of maturity and freedom.
My own nineteenth birthday was intentionally simple and unextravagant– a cake, some beers, fish and chips and a lot of rain. It was the spring break and I had my cousins over. There were five of them, plus me and my sister, cramming into the kitchen just to hang out. We had had initial plans of heading down to the beach to surf, but when the weather started getting bad, we abandoned such plans and spent the whole day indoors instead. Sometime I get the crazy idea like receiving a voucher from a site like Red Balloon.
Like the cake? Check it out:
We played card games, video games, almost the entire discography of Mumford and Sons and just talked about life– what we wanted, what we didn’t want, what I was going to do now that I was really an adult, the usual stuff. The bad weather lasted the whole day, even worsening when my cousins were supposed to head home that evening. Eventually my mom convinced them to stay the night, and my dad made tuna mornay for everyone. The weather got slightly better on the afternoon of the following day, but our planned surf excursion didn’t happen until that weekend due to rough waves.
My eighteenth birthday was an exuberant haze of shots, party hats and expensive presents, and my twentieth birthday was a rather tight-assed farewell affair at a hotel, my uncle’s idea (I would be leaving the next month to study in Norway, so he spared no expense) but my nineteenth birthday will always be remembered as a chill, relaxed and well-needed pause in the process of growing up to just spend time with family and enjoy one day, despite all the rain, before the next part of my life went on. You only turn nineteen once, and I’m glad I did it this way.