This past week, I celebrated my 22nd birthday. It seems as the older I get, the faster time moves; it's not like when you were a kid and it felt as if time was standing still and you would never grow up. The time of growing up has arrived and there's no where to hide from it.

I'd like to think that now that I'm another year older and another year wiser, that I have learned some really valuable lessons or have been subjected to make really important observations that have molded me into the woman that I am today.

One of the most important things I've learned is that the stigma attached to birthday's are ludicrous. Why should people only get one day out of the year that is all about them? The way I see it, people need constant reassurance and gratification whether it's about materialistic things--like getting a promotion or putting a down payment on your first house--or whether it's realizing and stating how amazing a person has grown to be on the inside. This type of love and nurture should not be limited to 1 day out of 364 days.

I believe that if people stopped for a moment to just acknowledge and cherish the wonderful people in their life--especially on days where it's not customary or expected--the world (little by little) would become a more loving and peaceful place.

Nothing in this world is permanent, especially a guaranteed "next" birthday. Every minute of every day is unknown, and you shouldn't learn the hard way that there is no time like the present.

So instead of waiting until that next birthday, let the people in your life that you love know that you love them and that you are proud of them and that you could never imagine life without them. Don't wait to write it down in a birthday card that can get lost in boxes of mementos over the years. Verbally express how amazing the people you surround yourself with are, because those are the moments that the people you care about will freeze in time and cherish forever.

Birthday's are a reminder that we are lucky to have survived another year, and a reminder that our time is limited, so we need to spend every second enjoying the company of those who matter most to us. So don't wait until it's too late or for another birthday to pass by to realize what is truly important in life.

Just some food for thought.