It’s been 2 years since I last wrote here. My life is so different than it used to be.
I am now that cool, sociable, independent adult I used to imagine in my fantasies. I graduated summa cum laude, and started working at my dream job. I finally said goodbye to life with roommates and moved into my very own place, that I was (un)lucky enough to design and furnish exactly as I wanted. I have so many friends, from so many different parts of my life. I go to real parties now. Hell, I throw real parties now.
I go on dates at the beach. I meet new people at barbecues. I get well-deserved salary bumps. I walk over to my sister’s apartment. I dance on rooftops. I work out in the park underneath the office with my co-workers. I have a corner. I laugh with strangers on crowded buses while holding a watermelon.
Though I’ve always loved writing these birthday letters to myself, and sharing these tiny snippets of the year in short tidbits, I have to admit that it feels less and less relevant as the years go by. I completely skipped the tradition last year, when I turned 24. Life has gone and become more and more complex, as one would expect when you become a “full blown adult”.
I can’t wrap up the last two years with a pretty bow. I can’t summarize the ways in which I’ve changed, and pull it all together into one insightful theme. So honestly, I won’t try. That’s not the point. No matter what I write, it won’t cover everything I have to say, and the desire to make it do so is what keeps me from writing like I used to. So here are just a few words that have come to my mind on this random Monday evening after a long day of work, the night before I turn 25. They will suffice.
In these two years, I lost loved ones. I watched them suffer and lose themselves, before we lost them forever. I’ve been grieving.
In these two years, I entered and exited relationships, one of which was a scary and unsettling experience. Thank god I listened to my gut and my support system, both of which were telling me to run.
There have been wars and terrorist attacks and a pandemic. There was the 10 year anniversary of fibro. There was a lot of fighting for myself to make sure I got what I deserved.
Though life isn’t everything I thought it would be right now, so much of it is so damn good, and I’m grateful. I hope 25 brings what I’m wishing for, but even if it doesn’t, I hope I stay kind to myself. I hope I remind myself in the dark moments that I am so worthy of love, a love that builds me up instead of trying to tear me down. I hope I remind myself that even if my body doesn’t work the way I wish it would, it serves me well and has allowed me to experience everything I have.
And lastly, I hope that I remind myself to shut up and look how far I’ve come. If I am now the adult I always wished I would be, what will keep me from one day being the wife, the mother, the CEO, that I hope to be?
The year ahead promises stability. For the first time in a long time, I’m reaching my birthday knowing where I’ll live for the rest of the year, where I’ll be working, what my finances will look like, who my people will be. I hope I take advantage of this stability to live in the now, but also to dream big and set my next goals. It’s time for those.
25 will be good. I know that for sure, because I know that it’s mostly up to me, and I am all in.
Here’s to the second half of my roaring twenties.
“Roaring twenties tossing pennies in the pool.” – Taylor Swift
Wow! Here’s to watermelons on buses and pretty bows. Happy Birthday! 🙏🏼 So very happy to hear you’re smiling. One day you will look back at 25 and smile again knowing you stopped for this moment to reach back into the words that helped make all of us here the people we are today.
The truth is I haven’t logged to WordPress since some time back in the fog of Covid world and as life has it, there are very few voices still on my reading list. I am sure I speak for so many readers that have been inspired by your courage and persistence and have shared quiet prayers for you over so many years, that we are all so very proud of you and the young woman you have become Ella. 💙
Good to hear from you again, Ella. Happy birthday on your 25th! Your story reminds me of “you’ve come a long way baby.” Good for you. I’m sure it’s been hard work and you’ve survived all the better. Best wishes in the future! (I’ve lived with fibro for 23 years now. Hope that gives you hope!)
Lois, thank you so much <3 It's been a long time! Thank you for sticking around, and for giving me so much hope through the years. It means the world.
You’re welcome. I love to see young people tackle through life and succeed. I know it takes a lot of effort.
‘Like’? I like very much! I’m sure few of us had forgotten you, I certainly hadn’t. Not much to say, really. There will be downs as well as ups, of course, but you can handle them. Well done! Simply that. Very well done!
Frederick, I can’t believe you’re still here! I teared up when reading that you haven’t forgotten about me. It’s been so many years, sometimes I forget what a true community this blog used to be. Thank you for continuing to care all this time <3