I live with the constant thought of being 80 years old, looking back on my life.
And that’s if I make it that far. I have this theory that TikTok stars will destroy our world before then, but if by some chance I reach 80, I want to look back and be proud of the life that I lived. The way I ensure that, is by constantly reminding myself of this concept. This simple thought, or mindset helps me in so many aspects. It’s these little conversations with myself that bring me back down to earth.
It helps me let go of things that don’t matter,
For example, when I want someone specific to see my stories on Instagram and they don’t, the conversation probably sounds like,
«will you hang out with those people in 2077 anyway? Probably not.”
Or when I’m feeling down because Cole Sprouse ignored my tweets confessing my love for him, it’s my 80 year old self that calms me down saying,
«let it go. It doesn’t matter. Cole’s fine. He’s in the kitchen making cookies, naked, for you right now. You two will find each other.»
It helps me focus on the things that do matter,
Like my family. I hang around them more than the average teenage girl. I stay up til 3 in the morning watching movies with my 15 and 17 year old brothers. Part of it because I’m a night owl and sucker for watching FRIENDS for the 46th consecutive time, but part of it is because I know that when I’m old, those will be the memories I wish I could relive.
So my old lady mindset helps me appreciate those memories.
But it also gets me in trouble,
Like when a total stranger I came in touch with at a cafe asked if I wanted to go clubbing, I willingly got in an Uber with him drove to the other side of Ubud, Bali and was illegally let into the club where we partied with the Chinese Mafia until the sun came up.
Most normal functioning humans have that part of their brain that says,
«hmmm. probably not a good idea.»
but that part of my brain is replaced with the repetetive phrase,
«when I’m 80, this will be a good story to tell.»
And if you know me, I’m a storyteller. I’m filled to the brim with embarrassing moments, unbelievable «how did you pull that off?» encounters, and plenty of «you had to be there’s!»
So when my total stranger, might be a serial killer, picking up his potential victims in a public place, all I saw it was the beginning to a potentially really really good story.
My life, summed up in a sentence, is just a collection of really really good stories I’ll tell my grandkids when I’m 80.
And the reason I’m telling you all of this, is because 08.12.00, tomorrow I turn 20.
which, means of course, the end of 19.
And when you’re a sentimental soul like myself, you’re really bad at goodbyes. Like, TERRIBLE at goodbyes.
To the point where, I’ll go weeks without reading the last page of the book I’m on, because the inevitable end is too much for my heart to take. I can’t even finish TV series because the goodbye is so painful. (do Ross and Rachel end up together??? I wouldn’t know.)
Being 20, right now, really just means that I’m not 19 anymore. And I never will be again. And I think I’ll always feel 19, but I’ll never really be ´her´ again. So the thought of that, sends me into a sentimental emotional breakdown. And it’s when I have these sentimental emotional breakdowns, that I write the best, so here we are.
My tribute to 19.
Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? I love how on your birthday, every year, someone asks you «do you feel different?» and every year, you feel so NOT different, it’s almost frustrating.
You don’t even know how disappointed I was when I woke up on my 11th birthday and still didn’t have boobs.
But that’s just how it is, nothing necessarily changes, right? Tomorrow, I’ll still be the same girl as I was today. Maybe with a little more of an inflated ego because of all the birthday messages, but none the less, I’ll be the same.
But then I think about 18 year old Sofie. Who I was one year ago. One day before I turned 19. December 8th 2019. And it’s like a totally different person.
I remember her so well.
And I think if anything, THAT is what changes on our birthdays. When the clock strikes 12, and you’re now referred to by a new number, a new social class, a new group. Other than that, the only thing that actually changes is the way you tell your stories.
All my adventures, and moments, and memories from this past year, after tonight, will be sealed up tight and tied with a pretty ribbon and titled «chapter 19.» There´s no more time left for this part of my life. I’ll have no editing power. It’s written and it’s published. Time is marching on, wether I like I or not, and now the only thing I can do is take these next 365 days to make chapter 20 a good one.
The two last years has been the best chapters of my life yet.
Which brings me back to why I’m sad to see it go.
Because one day, 60 years from now, I’ll tell stories. Like I always do. I’ll be telling these stories to my grandkids, or Cole, or maybe an academy award winning director who is making a documentary about my life. But I can promise you, that half of those stories will start out with,
«when I was 19….»
I´ll tell them about New Year’s Eve in Spain with my longtime best friend, Frida & her boyfriend (my homie) Markus who I adore so much and Tobias, who... is someone that will always have a special place in my heart. Being a tourist with my mom in Ireland making everyone believe we’re from Britain. Or in Africa seeing eye to eye wildlife animals, witnessing a proposal on the beach in Tanzania, to partying under the most clear stars or how I almost died from seasickness but recovered as fast as I got it with scuba diving being the rescue. (And throwing up.) Getting spontaneously tattoos with my girls at that small shop at the beach. To every new culture, people I’ve met and conversations I’ve shared this year.
I’ll even tell them about how being 19 was hard, because I was constantly in and out of heartbreak. Painful heartbreak, and intense social anxiety. How I developed body image issues, and became soul crushingly insecure. When I realized that a ghost crush from the past didn’t had good intentions for me, and I finally had to cut ties with that person. Being 19 was hard, and they’ll know that.
But if anything, I’ll make sure they know that being 19 was when I learned to overcome those fears, and problems, and fall back in love with myself. Because every good memoir has conflict. Every hero is a little flawed.
And someday, when I’m 80, it will be the greatest story of all.