At 24...

By Lucy Harbron - 22:47

I live in East London, with 5 other girls.

My hair is still my natural colour as the fear of change grew back out with my roots.

My favourite things to wear are my velvet backless dress, my little black dress, my chunky loafers and my soft green jumper. I do my makeup far more now, regularly painting pink or blue lines over my lid.

My favourite books of the year were My Year Of Rest and Relaxation, Nina Simone’s Gum and Acts Of Desperation. I’ve started reading far more again since the new year.

I still watch too many films to have a favourite, but real stand outs this year were Summer Of Soul, Promising Young Woman and The French Dispatch.

My favourite albums to sing in the shower are Home Video by Lucy Dacus, anything by Taylor Swift and my Prince playlist.

My favourite smell is Karma perfume from Lush or my room after burning incense. 

My favourite things are movie nights alone, negronis, days out in the city, fresh nails, when an artist walks onto stage at a gig and baths.

I’m in love with my life in London, my friends and the ways we communicate, my silly little things, my writing.

I sleep on my left side with a scruffy bear tucked under one arm. 

To self-soothe, I stroke my side with my finger, breathe deeply and drink hot tea.

I’m still trying to drink more water, and I want to implement a habit of being easier on myself. I know how hard I’m trying, but only at the latter.

As I turned 23, I wrote about wanting to float. I wanted to let life take me while I sunk into it, enjoying the view, resting here a second. I think I did that, but not in the way she thought. I didn’t get any tattoos or haircuts or holidays, but the year’s lazy river drifted me to a different city, through two jobs, two homes, a brief period of relative homelessness and a brief period of unemployment. Like something out of a video game, the sky when from rainbows to rain, to crashing thunder to brightness again. And when my old self begged for a period to relax into fate, I don’t think she had in mind the kind of surrender fate demands of you.

More than ever now do I understand the cliché of what is meant to be will be. For year my tarot cards have been telling me to keep doing what I was doing, I kept pulling wands that said to work without a big show, keep going, define success in my own way, drive towards purpose without making a big deal of it. And I did, then this year they finally turned to swords, to the end of struggle and the opening of a period of knowing and outright creativity and excited work. Re-reading last year’s reflections, I can only mirror what she said. My emails continue to baffle me, as I collect gig tickets and think about the people I’ve met or spoken to, I want to race back in time to brag to 13-year-old Lucy, dance around excitedly with her in our red bedroom. A year on, it’s my job. Two months ago I became a deputy editor of a music magazine, and younger Lucy would lose her mind. On my actual birthday, we came together for a second to share a happy cry in the bathroom of Soho house at a film screening; I feel her squeezing my hand in moments like that, using it more and more as a grounding remind that this is happening, I floated right into this down a river of work.

But beyond that, at 23 I wanted more time to live life undefined by productivity, and I think I did that too. A major reason for the move, London demands far more time from you. It coaxes you out with parks and galleries and shows and all its neighbourhoods. The weekends I’d spend hidden away in my Manchester flat feel impossible now that theres Hyde park’s cycle paths down the road, Barbican martinis, the Tate balcony. And finally I think somethings broken through. After six months in a job that really wasn’t right for me, stripping me of the time I needed to write and feel productive, it was lost to survival mode. And while things were exciting and fun, now having a job that makes me feel productive within the daily hours is something I never thought would be enough for me, but I think this is what it’s all about. Logging out ready to stretch into hobbies, go out in the sun, spend Saturdays busy with fun and external interest. 

At the start of 23, I don’t think I would have ever imagined it. But at 24, I know for sure I wanted it more than anything, I just still can’t quite believe all the surrender and trust got me here somehow. So I only have the same hopes for my year; I’ll say I want a tattoo, a haircut and a holiday and see what life offers up next.

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