Today is my 25th birthday.
In my current life, most of my immediate friends are in their 30’s (including my hubby) and life now, in no way, resembles how my life was as a 21-year-old. See, I have been an avid journaler since my early teen years, so I have actual evidence of how much I have evolved as an individual since those truly carefree years. I once looked back at memories of my first 6 years in paradise as a college student and a single woman, and wished I had taken more time to be appreciative. But now as an established and thankful 25-year-old wife and mommy, I have a few things to say to my former self…
You don’t know me yet, things are quite different now, but there are some things you outta know.
What you don’t realize yet is that ‘Year 21’ is the BIGGEST turning point within your adult life, so much happens and it’s not all pretty! Right now you are living in a little Hawaiian house with college roommates, and spend every weekend day at the beach, in the ocean, or in the Hawaiian jungle, and the nights out on the town with your best girlfriends. You have made a career for yourself over the past year and can now start to afford the things that you always planned on providing for yourself.
But as you are celebrating your 21st birthday with a large group of friends during a super carefree four-day-weekend extravaganza in Waikiki (and all around O’ahu), you have no idea that the year ahead of you is about to change just about every aspect of your life and being.
Here are some things you really don’t know yet:
You don’t know what true, unconditional love is or what it really feels like. You won’t witness this for a couple of years, until you meet your first child, a beautiful babygirl.
On that same token, you have NO IDEA what REAL physical pain feels like either. But don’t worry, after the few hours of natural labor/birthing, you will forget all about it once you lay eyes on Bella. And afterwards, you will possess a-whole-nother level of respect and admiration for your body and its’ capabilities.
You don’t know the ultimate commitment yet either, not until later this year when a friendship you have now, blossoms in to the most breathtaking relationship you could ever dream of, and you both decide to commit to spending forever with each other & get married this Spring!
What’s going to happen:
In a few months, your life will change in the biggest way possible. You will experience the worst day of your life (still is to this day). Your outlook on college/drinking-buddies/girlfriends, will perpetually change. You will realize that you truly cannot trust anyone beside yourself. You will witness a horrible act of cruelty done to you by a completely evil stranger, but don’t worry, your faith has never been stronger and you will act upon this violence to make a change for your community and other woman-survivors.
After this day, your friendships will forever change as well. You will decide to part ways with the majority of your college ‘friends’, and this will start your journey and relationship with yourself. You also will delete all forms of social media (sounds crazy, huh?) but don’t worry; in a few years you will rejoin and create a beautiful online platform to share your knowledge.
Most notably though, your faith will only continue to strengthen during this year. It will wake you up at 7 a.m. on Sundays to attend church by yourself, and even carry you to foreign, majestic, and far away countries (like Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and India) to further mold your ideas and continue your healing.
You will move out of your college home, and for the first time ever, you will live alone. Don’t worry, you still have a few trustworthy friends that you will go surfing with and occasionally have dinner with, but for the most part, you will be with yourself. You will get to know every fault and every subconscious reflection within, and it will be the toughest, but most rewarding time in your life.
At a certain point in that journey, you will find a friendship blossoming into a remarkable romantic relationship, one in which you will be able to finally allow yourself to open up to this person, and the future will stem from that openness and genuity.
This all may paint a picture of a dark cloud, but the truth is, this year is a turning point and this is your wake-up call. Reality starts knocking at the door, and you will answer with the most heartfelt confidence. However, most people that you know will be living the life you have lived for the past 6 years, far out in to their twenties. Don’t be discouraged, you have achieved a lot since you left home at 17, but at 25 you will be extremely proud of the woman, wife, mother, and global citizen that you have become. You will finish a second college degree and then mold the second part of your twenties around that accomplishment, as well as start to develop your two beautiful babies in to humble global citizens as well. The world awaits, and you will have three of the loveliest travel companions a girl could ever ask for. So, buckle up!
x. Your 25-year-old Self