Every year on my birthday, I say "This is going to be the year." I've noticed that I actually say this each birthday as well as when the New Year begins. Yesterday (the 21st) was my birthday, and once again I've decided that this year will be the year. The year for what? I'm not sure. But it's going to be a good year, I've decided.
I said farewell to being 25, and ironically, to summer. My birthday is officially the last day of summer. September 22nd is always the first official day of fall. It seems right.
While my age doesn't change a whole lot about me, I know that it does symbolize one more year of life for which I can be grateful. 26 years of growing into who I am. It's hard to believe how quickly time has gone by. It seems like just last week I was in college, and the week before that I was dancing my heart out in Streatorettes in high school, and the week before that I was that nerdy junior high girl who wanted to start her own "Babysitters Club," and not long before that I was a naive little preschooler playing on stilts made out of coffee cans at the ABC Nursery School.
And now, here I am. 26 years old. College graduate. Admissions Counselor. Traveler. Networker. Music-lover. Wannabe writer. Wannabe photographer. "Aunt Mandy." Single, twentysomething. Daughter, sister, friend. Indecisive. Creative. Anxious. Loyal. Curious. Explorer. Seeker. Believer. Follower of Jesus.
How many ways can I describe myself? It's difficult for me, because one-word phrases can't capture a lifetime of memories. The stories and memories of my life are my life. And for those, I am grateful. They define me. The ups and downs, my past and future, and right now. This is me. 26 years old, and I can't be anything other than grateful for who I am and striving to always become a better version of that.
So with that said, this is going to be the year. Goodbye 25, hello 26!