Today I turn 26. I never thought I’d be where I am today. While I have lived tragedies that will be a part of me forever, I also have experienced more joy and beauty than I ever imagined. I guess that’s the silver lining right, that the pain teaches us. It expands our hearts, our eyes, and as everything falls apart we get to see what’s left.
25 was a year of rebuilding myself, and finding what is truly at my core. I learned to be independent and courageous. That I can do hard things. I learned I am stronger and more resilient than I ever would have admitted. I have learned that being a people driven person doesn’t make me weak, it makes me empathetic. And as I rebuilt life for the boys and I, I could truly see the decisions I was making. When you know who you are and where you stand, it’s easier to be intentional vs drifting. I’ve never been more gracious and happy with myself and my choices. I still have a ways to go. But it took becoming completely undone to get here. God knew that I would lose much to gain more. And I’ve learned I’ll probably always be a little bitter about that piece of optimism.
I’ve learned that sometimes we aren’t given the things we want, to teach us the things we need to learn. I’ve learned to be still (or at least stiller), even though my personality processes outwardly. I’ve learned that we are all fighting a battle and not everything is personal. And that I will probably always struggle with the last because my deeply people driven personality. That some may not even agree with this post but that is not my burden to carry. Which has taught me to focus on the boys and my happiness. And while focusing there I’ve learned a sense of simplicity and contentment. I’ve learned what it means to feel all those things deeply and be ok with the world not understanding.
And while I’m being honest, this year exhausted me. But in the midst of that exhaustion I learned how to multi task, and live fully spirited like two little boys. I learned the power of a snuggle on a hard day. Or the joy we can find when we allow ourselves to see life through their lenses.
25 healed me. It taught me I can’t control the things that have happened to me, but I do control how I allow them to mold me. It taught me how to savor life, every little chaotic moment of it.
So here is to 26.
I want to enjoy life and all it has in store. I want long snuggles, and dirt filled chases in the yard with my boys. I want to adventure with my family. I want deep conversations over a perfect Chardonnay, on the patio, with friends. I want to cook (burn) all sorts of recipes that make me feel alive. I want to be content with all the beautiful things God has blessed me with.
I want 26 not to be a year of sadness, or of rebuilding but of jubilee. A year of hope. Not of pulling myself up, or mending myself back together. But a year of loving the life that has risen from the ashes.
Cheers to family, friendship, joy, contentment, and growth.
One year older, and a new year ahead.