Happy Birthday To All The 20-Somethings Who Want Each Year To Be Better Than The Last

Happy Birthday To All The 20-Somethings Who Want Each Year To Be Better Than The Last

Each year should be a new opportunity to reflect on the past and work towards new goals for the future. 21 has a lot in store.

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Last year, I truly felt 20 was a big birthday. I was no longer a teenager and was entering into "the best years of my life"...said, everyone. They were right. November 17th of last year, I wished for an everchanging year. I prayed to God that my year would be filled with change, challenges, and guidance to help me discover the version of myself I wanted to become. He truly did throw a lot at me last year and I couldn't be more grateful.

I have dealt with living on my own, family struggles, relationships endings, the stress of school, money, a new city, living away from home, missing my friends and on and on and on. That sounds like a lot of complaining and struggle. I would take it all on again to live the year I was gifted at the age of 20. All of that noise I would call it was covered up by the strength of powerful friendships, an amazing family, a beautiful world that I was able to discover, surprising new people, a fun new city, a new passion for a career, connections, and more. I have never been more challenged in my entire life and I couldn't be more proud of the outcome.

I wished for a year of guidance, I have found my path.

I wished for a year of change, I have never been more dependant on my relationship with God to guide my vastly changing life.

I finally wished to start the process of figuring out the person I want to be, and I can proudly say I am on the right track.

So, as of November 17th of this year, I am turning the big 21. A new year coming in full swing and I couldn't be more excited, anxious, nervous, and ready. It is funny to me that everyone calls these years, "20 fun". They are fun but they also are the most life-changing years of our lives that comes with difficult decisions, finding our own paths, working on ourselves and with others, working on what we want to be, who we want to be, and more.

For this upcoming year, I feel it is always important to make goals so we can reflect on them over the year and look back at what was important to us then vs now. I always want to be a person of growth and work towards bettering myself and my relationships.

What do I want of 21?

This year I want to focus on love.

Love for myself, love for my passions, love for others and love for my faith.

Last year, I felt I made a lot of goals about myself. I wanted to travel the world, have a huge internship and discover the person I want to be. All important but from my experiences this past year, I have learned that what is most important to me is my relationships and the love I can give. This year, I am going to try not to focus on physical things and success but try to build myself up to hopefully create a person who is strong when success comes around. I want to devote time to putting love into my passions like writing and giving myself more time to explore my creativity. I have found I really have the best friends and relationships. I have had an abundance of support from my family and friends and I want to spend this year giving back to them for what they gave me this past year. I want to work to grow these relationships so wherever I am in the world, I know I have amazing people by my side. Lastly, my relationship with God has blossomed this year on a personal level and I want to continue to put my everyday love into an everlasting love. He will treat me with a year of learning and hope if I put my heart and love into Him.

Each year is an opportunity to grow and change. We need change and we need growth. It can be hard and some days can feel like too much, but I promise, next year we will look back at who we were and be so thankful for the path it lead us down.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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