When I was 19 I was terrified to turn 25. I didn't want to even turn 21 because it was way too close to being 30 years old. As I'm writing this, I'm three days away from my 25th birthday and I'd like to say, I'm so excited to hit this milestone age. My twenties have been far from perfect, then again, what does perfect even mean? I truly don't believe there is a textbook definition of the perfect life. I might not be exactly where I thought I'd be by this age and I might not even know where I want to be after this, but I do know one thing: I am thankful for every single thing I've gone through since turning twenty. Here are a few milestones I'd like to highlight from the first five years of my twenties.
2018, age 20.
When I was twenty, I spent a lot of weekends up in Athens on the Ohio University campus with my cousin Tyler. I cherish a lot of memories up there because they were full of laughter, tears, and so much fun. We partied until the sun came up at bars and inside dorm rooms. We played guitar hero, and painted mugs, listened to so much Panic! and Tyler and I celebrated our birthdays together with stupid balloons and tequila shots. It was beautiful. It was magical. When I turned 20 I really began to see a change in me. I tried so hard to begin the work to gain the confidence in myself that I needed. I began taking yoga classes, running and trying to become healthy again. My mental health started to blossom a tiny bit.
2019, age 21.
After I turned 21, it was six months later when I learned I had bipolar disorder. I had always had depression, but this was different. My drinking started to head towards a problem. I was sneaking out and doing stupid things. I was harming myself in ways I thought was just innocent fun. I got my diagnoses, began alcohol counseling and tried to get better. That year was kind of hard for me. I lost a friendship that meant a lot to me. I saw the people in my life looking at me in a different light. I knew something had to change and that something was me. I got on medicine and started a journey towards survival. It wasn't the easiest to process what I was going through. I had to learn so much about my mental health that summer and tried so hard to be okay. I had to be okay. I had to help myself because I knew I didn't want to die.
I have a lot of people to thank for being by my side that year. The biggest thank you I can give is to my family for always supporting me even when I'm wrong. For always loving me. For always wanting what's best for me.
Thank you to the friends I lost that year because without them, I wouldn't have been so willing to get help.
I'm grateful to be alive and THANKFUL to have had such amazing people in my corner for that time of my life.
2020, age 22.
This was a big year for me. It was a big year for everyone because of the pandemic, but for me my life shifted. I started regularly going to church until the pandemic shut the world down. Once that happened, I discovered that church truly isn't a place, but the people. I spent Sunday mornings watching livestreams of the sermons with my mom on the couch. Once everything sort of opened back up again, I joined a small group for a short period of time. It helped with the social anxiety I was feeling around then and pushed my relationship with God further and further. In August of that year, I ended up getting baptized in front of my family and the church congregation. My love for Jesus was in full force & nothing would've gotten in the way of that.
Unfortunately, not shortly after that my mental health took a toll and depression won for a moment again. On October 18th of that year, I checked myself into the hospital for help with my depression. Living had become so hard and I began losing my faith that I had gained not long before. It was a hard experience considering the adult ward and the kids ward I once stayed in were completely different. Coming out of that experience I am grateful for doctors willing to help patients. I'm grateful for people who save lives. Once I got home, I swore to myself I'd never let myself get that bad again. I began working tirelessly to better myself.
2021, age 23
Around the time I turned 23 I started a new job. It gave me an opportunity to meet new friends again. I was able to dive into a mindless job and just escape for a while. It also gave me a schedule to be able to grow as a person. I spent countless weekends doing self care, writing, and relearning things about who I was as a person. That year, exactly one after my hospital stay, I decided to make a solo trip to Cleveland to see Harry Styles. A trip that would forever
change my view on the world and myself. I finally learned that I had the strength and independence to do anything I wanted. I didn't have to sit around and wait for someone to do it with me. I became my own best friend at 23. I took myself on dates. I bought myself gifts. I gave myself the absolute love I deserved. 2021 was also the year I met some of the most amazing friends on the internet I could possibly ask for. Marley and Shelby, I love you guys and I'm so grateful to Harry for giving us a special bond and allowing this friendship to bloom. You guys mean the world to me.
2022, age 24
I remember how I cried on my 24th birthday because I felt so utterly alone. I knew I needed more and I decided to give myself that. I began doing extra work and learning new skills for my job that equally made me feel so smart, but also mentally exhausted at the same time. It may have ended up being something I didn't want to continue, but I am so proud of myself for being confident in my abilities enough to try something new. It better shaped me into the worker I am today - I am no longer afraid of a challenge. I am also no longer afraid to tell anyone no if its not for me.
2022 was full of love as well as confidence. I fell madly in love in July and got into a new relationship. It taught me many things. For starters, it taught me what true pain felt like. After only a few months, I began waking up feeling that dark and twisty feeling again. I spent everyday trying to survive. It was confusing, you know? How can a person make me feel this type of love, but also like I was not worthy of life? How could I sleep next to a person that invalided my feelings? The self love and growth I had achieved the first four years of my twenties was almost completely drained by a man who didn't deserve me. It took everything I had in me to walk away from a love so deep, because the wounds were deeper. I am thankful for the months I spent loving him, but even more thankful I can focus on loving myself again. It taught me I am strong in many ways. Strong in the way I love. Strong enough to know my worth. Strong enough to walk away.
25 looks brighter and brighter everyday. The lessons I learned over the last five years will continue to go with me as time progresses. I will never be ashamed of the mistakes I made. I will always laugh at the lighthearted moments, be grateful for the dark ones, and look forward to the new moments ahead. This year is going to be one I'll be sure to tell my kids about. But if not, I'll just let them come back and read this blog.
Cheers to 25.
I cannot wait to see what you bring me.
All the love,