Tomorrow I will turn twenty-seven, and I am looking forward to it with open arms. It brings with it excitement of new goals to be reached, challenges to face, and the overall anticipation for a new year. With each birthday, I am also reminded of the quote that I used in Travel Makes Life a Daring Adventure:
Years ago, the life I pictured for myself at twenty-seven contrasts completely from the reality that I am currently living. But, I do believe that I am right where I need to be. Even though my plans took an entirely different course, I see myself relating to the quote from Sex and the City:
“Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”
This is a quote that I don’t relate to my lack of a relationship, engagement, or marriage, yet I can relate it to the entirety of my life. I have learned that there is no reason to settle for anything less than butterflies in each and every aspect of my life. Thinking this way helps me not to settle for second best, but to fight harder for what I want, what I deserve, what’s best for me in each and every way.
Twenty-six has left me with plenty of butterflies. Starting with ringing in 2011 in Scotland with a kiss under an extraordinary fireworks display. Then dinner on Brick Lane in London, cruising the Bahamas, dancing the night away in Miami, being the maid of honor for my best friend, and getting tenure at work. Finally, visiting South East Asia, a life-long dream that was able to come true at last. Riding elephants, petting tigers, dancing the night away on the beach, and staying up all night talking to someone truly special. Visiting Chicago for the first time, and each and every moment I’ve spent with close friends and family members. Twenty-six was truly a special year in my eyes. I have grown and changed and become a completely different person than the one I was a year ago.
If my path had gone where I had originally intended for it to go, I would never be who I am today, and I love this person that I’ve magically grown into over the years. The people I have met, places I have traveled, and experiences I have gone through have made me who I am, and I am proud of that person.
Which brings me to twenty-seven, a year I already have great plans for. Here’s to more opportunities for learning, growing, changing, traveling, and pushing myself to the limit. Here’s to saying good-bye to the worries and fears I had at twenty-six. Here’s to many more new friends. Here’s to reuniting and rekindling old friendships. Here’s to another year of life on this incredible planet that I am eternally grateful for.