On 26, and a Reflection on 25

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Today, I turn 26. I always feel a little nostalgic on my birthday. Not just because I’m another year older, but because on September 2nd, the day usually falls on or around Labor Day, marking the unofficial end of summer.

This summer season, and this year in general, have been a whirlwind. You always hear that the days/weeks/months feel shorter and shorter the older you get, but never was that quite so apparent to me until this 25th year. And to be honest, I always thought that was just something old people said.

As I reflect on this year’s past, I am filled with joy. To keep it real, years #23 and #24 were rough. Fresh out of college and feeling like every step I took was a major life choice was no playground. Suddenly, I was away from my friends and support system, and even more suddenly, making new friends was harder than it had ever been before. Add planning a wedding and feeling constantly broke to the list, and you can imagine the mood swings. There were some wonderful highlights of course, but there were also some major slumps.

Then, around 25, things started to click. I widened my social circle and put myself out there. I grew confident in my career and as a young professional, and I celebrated a year of marriage with my wonderful husband. I (we) traveled. We explored our own city as well as many more. I stopped comparing myself to friends and acquaintances on social media. I drank spinach-filled smoothies for breakfast and ate dessert every night. I found my own, real, personal style. I also finally settled on a hair color (for now).

As I step in to my 26th year, and as the season changes from summer to fall, I am nothing but optimistic about the months ahead. A big reason for that is you – my family and friends. For the support you give me and J, for being there even when I don’t call as much as I should, and for being by my side through some of my best memories of the year – Cheers. Bring it on, 26.

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