Today, I celebrate my 26th birthday. I am officially in the latter half of my 20s. (Not to be confused with my late 20s. That begins at 27!) Despite any technicalities of when my late 20s begin, I have found myself very reflective this birthday. I keep thinking back to when I was 16…
My Sweet 16th Birthday
My parents threw me a big Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party. The house was filled with family and friends, most of whom had known me my entire life. It was a wonderful party and a great way to start what would be a very transformative year. Two weeks after my party, I got my drivers license and officially became the first of my friends to do so. Two months later, I performed in my first improv show at my high school. This show became the first of many. Just weeks after that show, I landed a coveted spot in my high school's Variety Show Comedy Team; as dream of mine since I started high school.
My 16th year came with some wonderful highlights, but in turn, I was also hit with some low moments. I found chemistry impossible and French was just not sticking. Pressure to do better in school was amplified by the beginning of my college research. If I was going to go to a good school and get the degree I wanted, I needed to start working harder. On top of this, I was dealing with some issues with my groups of friends. This later turned into me leaving the group in pursuit of a better one.
My 18th Birthday
I didn't know it at the time, but I now consider that year to be my first real year of life.
It was the first year I had to start really considering my future. It was the first year my actions could drastically effect that future. It was the first year I made some amazing new friends, and let go of some terrible ones. It was the first year I began to set personal goals, and more importantly began to achieve them!
My 21st Birthday
No year of my life has ever been perfect; each year has come with highs and lows, achievements and failures, rewards and rejections. And while some years can be better than others, each year came with a healthy balance of some very real moments.
So here I am with a solid 10 years of life experiences behind me. Life definitely didn't go the way little 16-year-old Helen thought; and thank goodness for it! I am braver, stronger, and happier than I could have imagined.
My 22nd Birthday
So cheers to 26! May it be filled with some beautiful moments!
As always, thank you for reading, XO-