I’m 26 years old today.
It came up fast and a little furious; this weekend, my husband Chad and I had a discussion about how we have defaulted into this stage of decompartmentalizing information and not dealing with it until the last moment. For example, we went to Denver this past weekend. We knew about it several weeks in advance, but didn’t think about it until an hour before we left. As planners and overthinkers, this is normally far from our style. It seems like a coping mechanism brought on by the past year.
Anyway, I haven’t really thought about my birthday until today.
Happy birthday to me.
What a year
Last year, my birthday felt extremely dark and scary and uncertain. I was so unsure and worried. However, my 25th year turned into this crazy journey filled with twists and turns that I never expected. I lost my job. I bought a house. I got a puppy. I started my own business. I got some tattoos. Everything changed for me and almost nothing looks exactly the same and I’m better for it.
I’ll always think of 25 the same way I think of 2020—a growing year of trial and error. However, today I’m taking some time to recognize myself. It was me: I got through it. I rose to the occasion. I thrived. I did the damn thing, over and over: I transformed an old, musty house into a home. I applied to thousands of jobs and dove just as hard into my business, never stopping for a break. I masked up and distanced and stayed the fuck home. I took full care and ownership of a puppy and have given him the best life he could ask for.
I showed up for myself and my family and you know what? I rarely recognize that. I’ve been decompartmentalizing everything so effectively that it’s time to take a moment, pause, and think about how proud I’m allowed to be.
As I head into 26, I hope for more. To keep growing and being the best version of myself, to keep going and finding the joy and sunshine even when darkness lingers. I got my first vaccine shot a week ago, and I am riding that high right into summertime. I hope there are less things to go through, and just more opportunities to live life a little more carefreely.
On that note, here are some visual highlights of 25. Cheers to more of these in year 26.