Today I Turn Twenty-Four

No matter how lovely the day, my birthday would not be complete without some reflections on the past year and recognition of all that has passed, as well as those who have influenced me. Year twenty-three has been one of tremendous personal growth. While from the outside my year may have seemed stolid, I assure you a great many changes have occurred. The most obvious is that I have begun graduate school and am a semester in to a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. What precipitated that decision, and what motivates my future choices, is rooted under the surface.

This year I have learned how brave I am. I have asked for, and been ready for, and accomplished bigger things than I ever thought possible on both a personal and professional basis. Bookish and brainy, gifted with not patience but the foresight to wait for better things; I always viewed myself as a little timid. The truth? I’m a brave, brave woman. I will try most anything that resonates, and each time I challenge myself I feel nothing but rewarded. And my resolution to “get out there” socially? A smashing success! I have never had a year more balanced with healing solitude and rewarding social time.

I have also learned to recognize the gift of family, and to appreciate having them close enough to be a part of their lives and have them be a part of mine. Autonomy has always been important to me, but this year I have learned about the importance of connection.

It has also sunk in that I can be a successfully independent adult. Which includes things like mowing the lawns on time, paying my bills and managing my budget, and choosing carefully where I want to spend my energy. Time is finite, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it. Does that mean you won’t find me marathoning hulu and netflix, or taking a nap when I feel exhausted from travel season? Absolutely not. It just means that I recognize the purpose everything serves in my life, and when there is something that is a consistantly negative drain on my energy I am learning how to say no and cut that thing from my life. I’m growing, and with growth comes discernment.

On the health spectrum, the year has been viscissitudinal. From month to month I wavered back and forth between excellent eating habits and subpar choices. I had several consistent months of exercise, and completed two 5ks with another scheduled for December! That may seem like a small accomplishment to most of you, but to me that was a monumental success. Other months, particularly this last, had feeble and scattered attempts at fitness. Those months directly correlated with the hours required at work and with outside activities, so I am also trying to be much more cognizant in the future of what I sign up for. A constant challenge, that.

I love my job. I love my class. I love my friends, new and old. I love my family. I love my understanding of self, and how it continues to grow. I LOVE where I live. I’m not being superlative.

I know a lot of people have had strong reactions to my life choices and motivations behind them, but I assure you I’m on an authentic path. All learning is related, and all paths are connected.

There is still a lot of life to live, and slowly I am realizing that it is alright to pass on opportunities. I do not have to fit everything in now, there will always be new chances around the corner and at better times.

I want to give back, in my own way, to those around me.

My intentions for year twenty-four follow:

1) Do only as much as is rewarding, learn to pass on what is not
2) Give back, in a way that is genuinely Emilie
3) Write, play, sing
4) Focus on goal-oriented budgeting and spending
5) Purposefully hone areas of professional development
6) Continue to focus on physical health/fitness in rewarding, non-guilt driven ways
7) Go places and explore the world

And on top of intentions I have one wish:
1) Learn guitar. It’s time.

Of course, no year would be complete without those who help make memories, and to you all I can say is thank you:
Thank you for the advice. Thank you for the trust and opportunities. Thank you for the concerts and road trips. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for your patience with me, and willingness to be available when I am–which is not as often as I would like. Thank you for the books, spa days, video chatting and blog posts. Thank you for the podcasts. Thank you for the tasks and projects. Thank you for the hugs (even though I’m still the world’s most awkward hugger). Thank you for the happy hours. Thank you for the phone dates and inside jokes. Thank you for sharing your journey, and belting your lungs out with me at the piano and in the car. Thank you for the unlimited opportunities and incredible teaching. Thank you for the non-ego ego-filled midnight breakfasts, late-night swimming and planners (all covers for “processing”). Thank you for the constructive criticism. Thank you for the collaborative process. Thank you for calling me out when needed. Thank you all for making this life a dream.

Twenty-four feels great to me.


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