As I waited out the last few hours of my 24th year, I began to contemplate my life. I’ve lived for 25 years. A quarter of a century ago I entered this world and began my life. It doesn’t seem like its been that long, since I was a little girl. Part of me wishes I could watch it go by, in a picture slideshow, just to remember. Putting all the pieces together of who I am now and how I got here. So many things have shaped my life. My parents and their love for fun and adventure. My brother, my sister, the conflict and the childhood games. The friends, the moves, the heartbreaks, the trips. Everything, every moment of the last 25 years has shaped the woman that I am now. Faces run through my head. People whose words have lasted for so long in my mind. Teachers, coaches, childhood friends.
For me, these 25 years have been full. I’ve moved to England, moved back to America. I’ve grown up in Virginia, then an unexpected turn into Georgia. I’ve turned 20 in Spain, built a house in Portugal, seen the tip of India and the Taj Mahal. I’ve moved out on my own, all the way across the country from my family and friends. I’ve become a California girl, and then an Arizona one. I’ve studied so much, I’ve met so many people, I’ve traveled Latin America and Canada and Europe and Asia.
I’ve had hard times and I’ve had the best times. I’ve been surrounded by the most amazing people in the whole wide world. I’ve gotten to be a part of so many happy families.
My 25 years have been full, and beautiful, and amazing. And I hope that I have 25, 50, 75 more years to go, I really do. But no matter what, I know that I have lived a full life. I have loved and been loved. I have served God with everything that I have, even with my flaws. I have sought to be the best I can be, and I have picked up when I have fallen.
If only the first 25 years of my life were looked at, I would say that I have been one very blessed girl. And as I spent my 9,125th day on this earth with a bunch of Apache teenagers, far from my friends, far from my family, I found great joy in where I have ended up. And I believe, with all my heart, that this next year will be just as full and good as the ones that have passed.
So here is to being 9,125 days old.
And here is to the beauty, the pain, and the joy that will be found in the days to come.