I’m 27 today! I’m not a birthday person; I say it every year, and it honestly hasn’t changed. I do like to do a little reflection though, on the year past and the year to come.
26 was not my easiest year. It was one of the harder ones. Not for anything super major or devastating, but in the everyday of it, it got kind of rough. Just like how 23 felt like a significant changing year for me, 26 also made me do a lot of thinking. I was talking with a friend, who’s just a bit older, and she completely agreed. 26, for us, was about figuring out what’s important.
I think this is the first year where I truly understood both how fragile life is, how decisions you make shape the future, and the importance your values are. I spent the past year in the trenches a bit trying to figure out what all that means for me.
This spring, I had one of the scariest health issues of my life. Thankfully, it turned out that nothing was seriously wrong besides a horrendous (and expensive) night in the emergency room. It was nothing more than a perfect storm of problems: stress mainly, not drinking enough water or eating enough food for a few days, and seriously slacking on my sleep. It didn’t feel like that monumental of a week– I’ve had worse ones for sure– but it was crazy how my body basically said, “Okay, this is ENOUGH.” It was the first time where I felt like (realized?) my body had actual limits and that taking care of it properly every day was a non-negotiable.
I also firmly believe that you can recover from just about every decision, even the worst ones and that you can make the most of any situation. But, at 26, I’ve been able to see how every decision I’ve made adds up to where I today. (For better or for worse.) Things are starting to feel real. Honestly, it excites me more than anything else, but it’s definitely at the very least a little daunting. Life is here! As they like to say, life is not a dress rehearsal. I love the life I’ve built and chosen and continue to fight for.
… and this leads me to values. This year, I’ve been defining what my values actually are. I know I’ve always had “values,” but now I’m figuring out what is really important to me. As I move into the last few years of my twenties, I want to build the best possible foundation for my life. And I want to enjoy it and feel proud of it at the same time.
I’m ending this post with one of my favorite quotations, and one that I will be for sure relying on as I march through my 27th year:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau