20 things about this last year, in semi-chronological order, past to present, as I am now, officially, 20.

  1. I learned to find my feet after the betrayal of a close friend.
  2. I learned to embrace who I am deep inside.
  3. I discovered that I loved the person I found.
  4. I learned I always have a choice in life, even when it seems like I don’t. I am never trapped. The question is–what’s the right one.
  5. I learned how to be independent, to navigate the world on my own, and found it exciting and empowering.
  6. I discovered I will always make friends, wherever I go, even when I think I will find no one.
  7. I found that there is beauty in everything–I just have to watch and listen and smell and touch and taste and feel and think and all the goodness is right there at my fingertips if I just pay attention.
  8. I discovered how much I need loving criticism. I’m not always right, even when I’m dead sure I am. Listening hurts, but it can end up being a good hurt down the road.
  9. I learned that good things will come again.
  10. I found friends that became family, or maybe they found me.
  11. I found I am accepted for who I am by the right people, those that count.
  12. I found out I can be happier than I ever dreamed.
  13. I learned that God is faithful to me.
  14. I realized how much I love to laugh, and that laughing that much is entirely okay.
  15. I found my confidence.
  16. I lost my crushing desire to have to be the best and impress the world instead of just being enough for myself.
  17. I discovered what it’s like to have someone be there for you when you’re hurting, to always be there when you need them, and to be that for someone else myself. I discovered that my truest friends won’t push me away or look down on me when I’m at my lowest, but instead take me in.
  18. I experienced what it’s like to be truly loved–all of me, somehow, for just being me.
  19. I fell in love.
  20. I’ve found my darkest, neediest place yet. And still, I live and breathe and hope and believe–and love. And that is one of the most profound discoveries yet.

Year 19, you are the new favorite. Year 20, you have a lot to live up to. I made a whopper wish on my birthday candle. Let’s see if it comes true.