My 23rd year came to a close on Saturday. The big 2-4 was marked by a few days of festivities. Two days in Branson with my beautiful 70-year-old grandma, a day floating and camping on the river, and a final day of strawberry cake, gifts and a spaghetti dinner.
This birthday made me feel unbelievably lucky. It is one of those birthdays that went beyond all expectations. My friends and family went out of there way to make me feel special and loved. I was (and still am) very, very touched.
A new year always makes me reflect on the past one, and my birthday made me think about something my friend Tricia talked about a few weeks ago. I was seeking a little advice, and probably complaining, when she told me that the universe is always giving us who and what we need. Maybe it hasn't come to us with a big bow on it, or maybe it isn't perfectly wrapped, or maybe it just seems like a really shitty gift--but regardless, it is exactly what we need at that place and time in our life.
Sometimes we look at life and think it needs to be "perfect." The perfect boyfriend, roommate, job, family. But I'm not telling you anything new when I say that nothing in life is perfect. Someone will disappoint us, we will argue with a loved one, we will have a really bad day, be really sick of everyone and devise a plan to move to Europe. (Guilty.)
But when we sit back, let go and let God as they say, we realize it actually is pretty perfect after all--and everything is just as it needs to be.
Take my life for instance. My very first birthday, in fact. On the day I was born my dad wasn't even at the hospital. He was drunk. I was born into a home with an abusive, alcoholic father. And that was the beginning of my story.
Fast forward to my fourth birthday. My mom has married my now stepdad, Russ. (Who I call dad - I know, it can get kind of confusing.) But, this man, this great, great man became my dad. He truly took me from a life that would have been most likely filled with abuse, sadness and poverty, to a room with a canopy bed, private school and way too many clothes for a little girl to ever have. He gave me a life with every opportunity in the world. But most importantly, he gave me a life filled with love and support.
Now my dad didn't come with a big red bow, and we certainly had our years of battling over curfews and boys. It's not a perfect relationship. But it is perfect for me. As Tricia would say, the universe gave me what I needed--a dad.
Fast forward again to my 24th birthday. College is over. So is my hopefully one-time awful relationship with a man. I mean boy. (Sorry, couldn't help it.) So is my first job. So is my move and know no-one journey.
Twenty four years of surviving. Of living. At times, jumping the hurdles alone. But at other times, when I've needed it most, jumping the hurdles with someone running right along side me. Twenty four years of the universe giving me exactly who and what I've needed to become exactly who I am supposed to be.
So thank you, universe. For every good and bad relationship in my life so far. For every good and bad thing that has happened. For letting me complete the race which was my 24th.
On to my 25th. Sure to be my best time yet.