Today is my twenty-third birthday and as I do each year, I am looking forward to new beginnings and adventures. I feel as though I turned twenty-two yesterday, but as we all know, time goes by so incredibly fast. I never thought that on my twenty-third birthday I wouldn’t be swallowing down an expensive martini, or that I’d be celebrating not only my birthday but 35 weeks of pregnancy. Life has a way of unfolding in ways we couldn’t have predicted. Life is terrifying and beautiful and I’m focusing on the beauty today.
I have an amazing fiancé and a gorgeous life. I’m so excited to meet my baby and to start a new, exciting chapter with Andrew. I am planning our 2019 wedding and I’m so lucky to have such amazing, supportive friends (more like family) by my side through everything. I’m lucky to have parents who help me when I need it, despite the fact that I’m an adult and fiercely independent. I’m also lucky to have found myself and for everything I’ve accomplished. After my twenty-first birthday I went through immense life changes, said goodbye to a relationship, and I also lost a piece of myself as I struggled to rebuild and revive. I then became a ballroom dancer and with the help of my old dance partner and teacher, Franddy I created a new life for myself. I became stronger, fiercer, and more independent. I chased shots and dreams, not people.
I am now happier than I’ve ever been in my life; Andrew has shown me what true love is and reminded me of what I deserve. Ladies, find a man who gives you the world and makes you his.* I wish I could go back and tell my younger self how beautiful and special my life would become. I wish I could tell the girl who struggled to exist after being raped that everything will be okay. If I could go back and show my younger self a slideshow of my current life (Andrew, baby Greyson, and all of my accomplishments), I know I would’ve understood why I had to endure certain losses, leave the past behind, and move forward. We never understand in the moment of change or heartache why we must go through what we go through, but once you climb your way to the top of the mountain, the view is everything.
Everyone views their twenty-first birthday as the milestone birthday, but twenty-three marks one of the greatest milestones of my life…the year I become a mom. This year I become a mom, a wife, and I fully let go of the past. I won’t be needing the past anymore. The shadows and ghosts that have been by my side for years are no longer with me. For anyone who has yet to turn twenty-three, or twenty-one for that matter, you will realize so much during your early twenties. You will no longer care about petty drama, finances will change, and you’ll view everything differently (and I mean everything). You may become a young mom, like me and find the man (or woman) of your dreams. You’ll look back at your distant high school memories, past mistakes, and lessons learned and take a deep breath because you made it. You’ll go out to eat with your lover on a Friday night and you’ll look to the right, noticing a group of loud, naive teenagers and you’ll smile. You’ll smile because that was once you and you’ll never be that loud or naive again.
My advice to anyone entering into their early twenties is to leave the past in the past…don’t look in your rearview mirror. You may say goodbye to familiar, comfortable faces and you may feel a little lost as you begin to write a new chapter. Remember, the view from the top of the mountain (your new chapter) is everything. Let the fire inside of you inspire you and focus on finding what ignites your heart. Once you find your passion(s), never let go. Always strive to be another year wiser and truly take in the moments that made you laugh, cry, and grow.
This year, I already feel as though all of my wishes have come true, but as I close my eyes and blow out my candles 🕯 I feel incredibly blessed. Here’s to feeling twenty-three and to 35 weeks of pregnancy with my little pumpkin ♥️
I wish all November babies a happy, healthy, and exciting birthday and a gorgeous year! Xx