At 22...

By Lucy Harbron - 15:33

I live in Manchester.

My hair is bleach blonde with awful roots and a grown-out fringe. I haven’t been to the hairdressers in 4 months and I’m incapable of resisting a 2-monthly urge to dye it pink.

My favourite things to wear are my Burberry trench, my big black oversized jumper and my new Docs. On a night out I wear my denim mini skirt and paint an attempt of an Edie Sedgwick cut crease onto my eyes.

My favourite books this year were The Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith and In Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart.

My favourite films at the moment remain Leon The Professional, Marie Antoinette and Heathers. But recently I loved The Dreamers, Clockwork Orange and Love and Mercy. I’ve started keeping lists of what I watch and read.

My favourite albums to sing in the shower Fine Line by Harry Styles, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys or Norman Fucking Rockwell by Lana Del Rey.

My favourite smell is Palo Santo incense, Ginsberg Is God perfume by Bella Freud, or as always, my Mum cooking a roast.

My favourite thing is getting letters from friends or taking myself out on a date to the galleries then to a café to write on a Sunday. I also love disposable camera photos and going to the pub.

I’m in love with myself, my friends, the city I live in, Harry Styles, Patti Smith and everyone else I know.

I sleep on the right side of the bed on my left side, with thunderstorms playing quietly, and going to bed way later than I tell myself I will.

I repeat this mantra to myself; I am doing so well.

I’m trying to implement a habit of drinking more water and going to bed earlier.

If I go back through my old posts in this blog, I can now find pieces I’ve written on my birthday every year since I was 16. I’ve always been a reflective person, and admittedly that makes me kind of hate occasions, finding it all too easy to get bogged down with regret or nostalgia for the age I’m leaving. But this year as I settled down for a birthday ritual of journaling and a tarot card pull, I mostly just felt content in the chaos going on. Last year I signed off saying I wanted to simply float into a new year. It’s weird to read as on the cusp of 21 I was preparing to graduate and move, so aware of all these huge changes that were coming my way. And on the cusp of 22, I was aware of the huge lack of that.

This year I ticked off all the big life things, I graduated and got a job and moved, so now all that’s left is things I do or make happen. All the pre-planned milestones of my teens are behind me now, and I could easily panic about that, but instead, I’m choosing to be excited. I’m choosing to be proud and celebratory. At 21 I imagined the year as full; ‘I imagine them full of gigs, theatre trips, city breaks, friends, new places to brunch, new regular spots, new people to catch up with.’ I got it all as I think back on gigs as Castle, trips to the Royal Exchange, visits to London, brunch at Evelyn’s, weekly coffees at Idle Hands, new friendships full of new belly laughs and gossip. On the cusp of 21, I fantasied about the reality I made, and I love that so much.

When I did a tarot card pulling thinking about my 22nd year, I pulled the upright queen of swords and smiled to myself. It’s a card of balance between head and hurt, equal parts giving and guarding, future-facing but proceeding with an openness that is sensible and protected. It’s exactly what I was hoping to see, so I feel good about it. Future facing feels like the buzzword, I see the queen of swords on a coast looking outwards into open space. It feels like something out of a Florence and the Machine video in a dramatic and glorious way. She represents intellect, sharp wit, honesty, self-reliance; she’s a mature woman, forthright and supportive. I look forward to stepping into that power.

Unlike at 21, there’s not much I can say about turning 2, other than I’m happy. I’m really happy and content with my life, the last year blessed me with beautiful people and a beautiful city to call hope, all of which I can’t wait to be reunited with post-lockdown. I’m excited to be reunited with freedom in a new age for a year of complete control, a free timeline with nothing already set up to happen. I can do what I want at 22, and so I think I’ll write more short stories and try to go to 3 different countries. I think I’ll continue to work hard on this blog and Kiloran, I think I have a lot of fun, I think I’ll get another tattoo.

I’ve long since stopped caring about who reads these posts, so I leave this here as a time capsule, ready for the eve of turning 23. 

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  1. I looove reflective posts like this! In relation to the first statement - I also have not had my hair cut in a super long time and I am getting really fed up of its lack of pizazz, I have orange hair dye and am gunna do what all the hair dressers are saying not to do and just bleach it and dye it myself. Might even cut bangs, but then also, it is a bit late in quarantine- I am concerned I'll cut bangs, look terrible and then we'll finally be granted freedom and I'm going to leave lookin an absolute mess. Anyway- I think you should go pink, fuck it. There is nothing more fun than having fun coloured hair. Happy birthday Lucy, hope this year is a good one x


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