Today, I turned 21.
There was a pretty standard array of 21st birthday activities. I went out at midnight to enjoy my first taste of life as a legal adult. I drank a tequila sunrise. (My requirements were that I had to have a “pretty” drink.) Then, this afternoon, I went to the D.M.V. and got my brand new horizontal driver’s license. Then, my roommate Emily and I went to the Jewel Osco, where I bought wine. Just because I could.
Today is a big day for me, but not just because of the milestone of turning 21. It’s a day to look back on the year of 20 and think about all that’s happened. And a lot has happened.
It’s been a year of struggle, hardships, and overcoming obstacles. My life changed, a lot, since May 31, 2010. I’m learning who I am on my own, after spending six years with someone who helped shape my identity. It’s definitely been a year of adaptation and adjustment. Life has thrown me a few curveballs in the lat 365 days. There have been breakdowns, meltdowns, throwdowns, and a whole lot of tears. However, there’s been some pretty amazing experiences, as well.
The people that I consider my best friends, have really proven it in the last year. I’ve gotten to know some really amazing folks. I’ve built new relationships and solidified existing ones. It’s been a year of extraordinary development for me. I’ve opened some fantastic doors for myself. I let go of my fears of change and the unknown and have stepped out into the world, so to speak.
And, things will only get better from here.
In less than two weeks, I’m leaving for the biggest, scariest, most exciting adventure I’ve ever been on. I’m driving across the country to spend two and a half months in California. That’s amazing. And terrifying. And if it weren’t for all trials I faced as a 20-year-old, I probably would have never had this opportunity. It’s amazing what a little faith and confidence can help you achieve. I’m proud of myself, and I hope to continue to develop into a person I can be proud of.
20, thank you for being both a difficult and fantastic year. Here’s hoping 21 is all it’s cracked up to be!