Turning 20

by Pauline on June 24th 2016

Today I turn 20. Well… to be more precise I turn 20 at 11:15 pm tonight which actually means my birthday is only 45 minutes on the 24th of June every year.

I don’t feel any different. When I was younger I used to think that going into 20, I’d have my whole life together and that the moment I turn 20,  I start to “age” into a real adult, I don’t know, sort of like metamorphosis or something.

256ft – Arts Tower. I love views but scared of heights.

But this is far from the truth as you know. With that said though, I’d like to think I have matured in some aspects of my character such as, how I view the world with my opinions on certain topics and mindset taking a dramatic turn to what I used to believe in.

For instance, growing up I’ve always thought that presents really define occasions like birthdays and holidays and that without them, it wouldn’t be a “real” birthday or a “real” Christmas. It sounds so materialistic, superficial and perhaps even childish but I admit that it was my mindset growing up. I’m glad that over the past couple of years, I’ve changed this way of thinking and started to become more grateful and mindful of what I have, grateful for the company rather than goods I receive from people.

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Shifting to this way of thinking, for me, has made me happier. I don’t feel relatively deprived or treated unfairly because I didn’t get the latest, expensive makeup gift set from my boyfriend. I know living in this distorted media-led society, people may measure love and care from gifts alone and it’s easy to fall into the trap – I have myself.

For the past couple of years, I’ve decided to “ditch” the idea of expecting gifts from people on my birthday or Christmas and instead, focus on the greetings, the phone calls, the messages to meet-up and appreciate more, give more rather than expect more.

My change in mindset has notably changed as I gradually moved up to Level 20 of my life.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James

The most frequently asked question on the topic of birthdays is (for me at least, especially from my colleagues at work): “What have you got planned? Are ya doing anything nice?”

Earlier this month, I booked my first appointment at the blood donation centre to this date. Those who have grown up with my through my blogs or at school, know that I. Hate. Needles.

Those jab injections at school? Kept moving to the end of the line as I got closer to the front. Doctor’s need to give me an injection? Please knock me out first or get someone to perform hypnosis on me or something.

So it was a big deal to me having this fear of injection and all but I went for it with unwavering motivations:

  • After this, I’ve ticked off another goal I wanted to do for the year.
  • After this, they take my blood away and someone will use it when they are desperately in need.
  • After this, I could’ve saved someone or enhanced their life just like how someone years ago donated theirs and helped my mom greatly.

Unfortunately, I woke this morning with a cold and sore throat. Those familiar with the donation of blood process, you’re not allowed to donate if you have either of these. I was in denial and disappointed when I woke up because of my cold and the EU referendum results but I have rescheduled next week so, the birthday gift to myself has to wait another week. I’m super excited for it!

I had such a lovely day nonetheless being surrounded by family, friends and of course, my boyfriend (oh and awesome food!)

Lunch: New York inspired restaurant, LuckyFox.

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Dinner: Italian restaurant, Ask Italian.

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I’m excited for the year ahead being 20, I aim to continue being inspired, positive and enthusiastic but also become more mindful and grateful for the little things!


Posted under: Life


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27 comments

  1. First, happy birthday! And sorry you ended up with a cold. Feel better!

    A lovely thought with your blood donation! Hopefully you’ll be able to do it soon. I’m with ya though. HATE needles. x_x

    And that food looks so yummy!

  2. Rezina says:

    Happy belated birthday! I always love reading your posts. You always have something insightful and positive to say! Kudos to you for overcoming your fear of needles/injections.

    I also used to feel the same way about turning into a “real” adult once you hit a certain age but I’m already nearing my mid-twenties, and I still feel like the same person I was when I was in high school, haha.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Rezina, that means a lot ? Haha, totally. 5 days after my birthday pretty much feel exactly the same as when I did when I was 10! ?

  3. Karin says:

    Happy belated birthday! It’s great that you want to donate blood, I hope you can make it next week!
    And don’t worry about maturing and having your life figured out. I’m in my early 30’s and still don’t think I’m a real adult most of the time. As far as I can tell “adulthood” and “maturity” are total myths and almost nobody really knows what they’re doing anyway, haha! 🙂

  4. Tiny May says:

    Belated happy birthday, Pauline! Good for you for wanting to donate blood, every bit helps. <3 I usually turn my head away when I get my blood drawn and when I also get my yearly flu shot. I can't stand the sight of needles, but I don't mind the pain. LOL

    And get well! You should not be sick on your birthday!

    • Pauline says:

      Haha! I think I must be the other way round, I think I dread the pain much more than the actual needle! Thank you!! I’m feeling a little better now ?

  5. Anca says:

    Happy birthday! It took me a while to come to a similar conclusion about gifts and celebrations and the gifts I’m giving (and receiving from my husband) are thoughtful and have a meaning, even though they might not be expensive or they might seem strange or impersonal to others. I’m happy for you.

  6. Nancy says:

    Happy 20th, Pauline! I thought I would have my life together at 20 as well, but I was only halfway through college at the time. I have a looooooot to learn!

    I was the same, thinking that presents, people telling you “happy birthday”, and such defined the occasion, but it doesn’t. I think looking at these occasions with gratitude and appreciation is the better way to go. This mindset change means you’re growing up!

    Hope you’ll feel better soon! Being sick on your birthday week is a definite no no!

    The food looks yuuummmmyy!

  7. Kemi says:

    Happy belated birthday! So glad you enjoyed your day. Giving blood is something I’ve also been thinking about doing recently especially since the Orlando shooting, I hope it all goes smoothly for you! That lunch also looks so tasty, might have to take a trip to that restaurant haha.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Kemi! Yes, definitely. I think every bit helps a lot. We often take donation for granted, but I like to think of it as the base of every major procedure.

  8. Kya says:

    Happy birthday! 😀 Hopefully you will be feeling better so you are able to give that donation. That is a really huge thing to do, especially when you have a fear of needles.

    It is so amazing that I have known you for quite a long time, and to see you grow and mature. I can only wish the best for you and hope the future will be bright. 😀

    • Pauline says:

      I’ve still got a cold, I need to wait to be 100% better before I can give which sort of sucks. But once its all done, I’ll be there for sure!

      I knowww, I think that those who have been reading my blog over the years feel the same way! I know when I look back at my older blogs from last year, I am so different and have definitley matured 🙂 Thank you so much Kya!

  9. Tara says:

    Happy belated birthday, Pauline! Can’t believe you’re 20! For some reason I keep thinking you’re older LOL Boy . . . I certainly miss my 20s!

    Anyway, that’s great of you to donate blood. I’ve yet to do that, but I really hate needles and such, and people always have a difficult time finding my veins, so I’ve yet to conquer that fear and hatred to donate blood. One day I will!

    I hope you’re feeling better now! Enjoy your 20s! They’re going to go by so fast!

  10. Adrianne says:

    Hi Pauline, and happy belated birthday!

    When I turned 20 like… 20 years ago (there goes my age secret LOL jk!)… I didn’t feel that I reached adulthood at all because at that time, I still didn’t know how it felt to be independent, making your own decisions, and what not. I sorta came from a semi-traditional family where I still felt like I had to require my parents’ permission before I go out and do something I’m interested in. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I finally got the grasp of becoming an adult.

    On the other hand, I think each person has their own definition of the term “adulthood.” You can be 30 and still act like an immature kid “pretending” to be an adult, for example.

    I was diagnosed with diabetes early so I couldn’t really donate any blood. But on the other hand, the food looks delicious! You just made me hungry looking at those pics LOL.

    Take everything one step at a time. Even when you turned 20, you’re still young and plenty of time to experience new things. Take advantage of them. 🙂

  11. Cat says:

    Happy Birthday! As I grew older, I stopped expecting gifts too and actually preferred that my friends didn’t get me any. Instead, I’d rather we have dinner together or something. Good food and good company are the best gifts!

    That’s great that you booked an appointment to the blood donation center! I hate needles too. Every time I have to get blood drawn, I totally have to look away. That’s too bad you had a cold and sore throat, but I’m glad you’re able to reschedule!

    All of that food looks delicious! I’m glad you had a great birthday!

  12. Becca says:

    Happy birthday, again, Pauline!

    Haha, I totally get the thinking that by 20 you’d have your whole life together. I am the same way. I’m 22 and I feel like I should have so much more done and accomplished than I have by now. Or I would have at least something figured out, haha.

    I’ve always enjoyed experiences so much more than gifts or presents. I think that really makes special occasions much more special, at least to me. Going out and doing something different and fun is definitely way better than just getting a present (not that presents are bad, because I do enjoy them too haha).

    It looks like you had a fantastic day, Pauline. All that food looks delicious!

  13. Veronica says:

    Happy Birthday! I think everyone thinks prior to being 20 that when you reach that point you have basically have got your life together already. However, I think that’s a misconception. We all have our pace in life and we are supposed to live it according to that pace. Have fun not being a ‘teen’! 🙂