At the beginning of December, I started having this realization that I was going to turn 25 on December 16th. Usually, my birthday makes me excited to the point where I celebrate all month long. This year, the thought of my birthday made me nervous, and I really didn’t understand why. So, I spent the past week reflecting on my time as a 24-year-old, and I set some goals for what I wanted to accomplish at 25. I intended on writing a post about how much I grew up over the past year, and how I battled my demons, conquered my fears and did more than I ever imagined. Because to be quite honest, that’s what being 24 was to me. But this post is only a little bit about that.
I spent a lot of time recently reflecting on what it was like being 24. Right before my 24th birthday, my entire family moved to Minnesota. At first, it didn’t really bother me. After all, I was so independent and had recently¬†spent a year in Alabama away from my family. To me, this would be just like that. But as time went on, I realized that for the rest of my life, my family wouldn’t be a quick drive away. I’d miss spending holidays with my family and¬†watching my niece grow up. I’d no longer be able to spend time with my sister, who is my best friend, whenever I wanted. Visits with my family would no longer be spontaneous.¬†I quickly realized that this wasn’t just a little thing. Aside from Alex, I was alone. And it took me some time to figure out how to make that work.
Being 24 meant growing up and learning how to stand on my own two feet. It meant getting my own car insurance, figuring out how to pick a health insurance plan, buying a car and paying bills. It meant taking things into my own hands and making my dreams happen on my own. It meant signing up for Tough Mudder even though I hadn’t worked out in years and using that as my motivation to get into shape. It¬†meant battling my anxiety and depression and finding ways to overcome my demons. For me, being 24 meant turning my world upside down and changing everything I ever knew about my life. And I was 100% okay with that.
I woke up yesterday with a new¬†sense of excitement and happiness. In the week before my birthday, I told myself that being 25 was going to mean accomplishing all of my goals – including my fitness goals that I’ve been putting off for years. Twenty-five was going to be the year I put myself first and made my health and fitness a priority. So when I woke up yesterday, I felt like I had a whole new outlook on life. For the first time in my life, I actually¬†felt older. And I was 100% okay with that too.
After work, I came home expecting to go out to dinner with my boyfriend, Alex. Instead, there were roses on the table with a card that said “open immediately.” Inside the card it said to meet him at the dock. After a few minutes of confusion (what dock? how do I get there? how am I going to walk through the grass in heels?), I made my way to the dock – without my shoes. As I walked out on the dock to greet Alex, I was filled with excitement, nerves and¬†bliss because I knew¬†exactly what was about to happen. After he said¬†some sweet words (none of which I can remember – sorry boo!), Alex got down one knee and asked me to marry him. And of course I said YES! To top it all off, he had his sister there taking pictures of the entire thing.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect engagement or a better birthday present. For the past three years, I’ve been lucky to call Alex my boyfriend, and I feel even luckier to be able to call him my¬†fianc√©. I cannot wait to embark on this new journey together and to tackle whatever life throws at us.¬†Together, I know we can make it through anything.