Today is Krista’s 23rd birthday! Which means I’m basically the only 22 year old left on this island. Ok- dramatic, I have one friend that is 21 but still. I’m essentially an infant. I didn’t realize that I was going to be on the younger end of the people who live here. When I was desperately trying to get through my last few months of college I felt so old and I felt so much pressure to go off and do something crazy while I still had time. Now here I am, most of my friends are in their late 20’s or in their 30’s, and I feel so ridiculously young. I think I carry myself well and I’ve never had anyone tell me they thought I was younger than I am, and actually most people are surprised when I tell them my age. Which I am going to count as a good thing. There’s nothing worse than being the newbie AND people thinking you’re young and immature. Just not a good look my friends.
When I was planning this move I told myself a million times “if not now- then when?” and I still hold that to be true in my particular case because there are a lot of things I want to do in my life that would be really challenging to do on a rock in the middle of the ocean. But as I have met people, learned peoples stories, and learned more about this place, I have come to realize that the drive to do this and the reasons that people come here don’t have much to do with age at all. Whether it be getting away from a destructive relationship, or from Corporate America, or pursuing a dream of becoming a boat captain or simply just wanting a change- all of those things are far more common than “I just wanted to do it before I got too old.” Maybe moving fresh out of college at 22 years old is a little less complicated because I’ve had less years to put down roots, less years of accumulated baggage or debt, but I also have less experience and less wisdom. There are people who went out into the work force and used their college degrees, pushed through a job they hated until they were able to make this move. There has to be a different level of appreciation when your story starts like that. I feel like there would be more of a drive to live this life with everything you have in you and take every single day for what it is. I set that reminder in my head every day, but I don’t feel like it comes naturally because maybe I didn’t have to work as hard for it.
What I am trying to say is that age is just a number. I would rather measure my life in moments and experiences, in friends and in drinks at happy hour. I would rather it be measured in times I’ve had my heart broken and times I have learned from my mistakes. I would rather connect with people based on loving the same netflix show, understanding of the story we all have of “that one guy” or the ability to have a fluid conversation rather than the difference in numbers on our drivers license. I thought that 22 was the time and that if I didn’t do it now I never would, and I have found so much comfort in learning about all of the things that have brought people here that have nothing to do with age. I find comfort in the fact that if this doesn’t work out for me now, I can always come back. It won’t be too late, it won’t ever be too late to find passion and follow it. Age is just a number- there is so much more to life than numbers (also, I hate numbers. I failed college algebra three times).