Welcome to Twenty-Four

Every 365 days, as I gain another year on the calendar of life, I love to write a piece for my birthday. This year, I am turning 24 years old on the 24th of April. They call it your golden birthday, your golden year. Do I think at 24 years old I have lived all the life there is to live? Absolutely not. Yet each year of my life has never been the same. Think about it, no day in my life or yours has been identical. Our choices are the road map to the days that make up our life. When I write something for my birthday I try to reflect on what I have learned in my past 365 days. This year, my words are going to attempt something different. I am going to write a letter to myself.

I recently reached out to a friend for some advice on my writing. I know she reads my blog and would give me honest input. If you frequently do as well, you know I haven’t written a lot lately. In hope of sparking my writing light back into my life, I asked her for some inspiration. She suggested I write a letter to myself. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that is just what I needed. Her timing was impeccable.

A fair disclaimer must be placed here: Everything I am about to say is unreliable. It will be written from the heart. I might say things I know I need to hear but do not want to hear. I might lie to myself. I might be brutally honest. I might ignore vital topics. Whichever path I take, the words I say will be the words I am meant to write at this moment.

A theme I will reflect upon is ‘wear your heart on your sleeve.’ As I reflect on life, that is how I want to live it, with my heart on my sleeve. That makes you vulnerable. Every moment an open book. I believe being vulnerable creates the best version of yourself. Being vulnerable means you feel things. You are open to things. You live each moment as it is given to you.

Without further ado….

Dear Gabriella,

Welcome to twenty-four. The age as a little girl (wanting to be a princess when she grows up) you thought was the perfect age to get married. Both points in that statement are not true. You are not a princess. (Okay in your heart you are and when you visit Disney) You are not married. Nor, are you getting married. Luckily, you are okay with both of those circumstances.

Understand, you can’t predict life. You do not know where it will take you. You are meant to be exactly where you are right now. But, do not forget about the future. You do not know when or how the choices you make today will affect you. Remember to take care of yourself but not to ignore the ones around you. Give as much to them as you would to yourself. But, don’t give more of yourself to someone that does not deserve it. I know you are a confident woman, never forget that. Do not let anyone compromise that.

I want you to make me some promises. First and foremost, promise me you will wear your heart on your sleeve. Let yourself be vulnerable. Promise me you will invest. Invest in people. Invest in love. Invest in kindness. Invest in everything you do. Promise me you will try new things. As cliche as that sounds, it is ever so important. Do not break the pact you have with yourself; travel to at least one new place this year. Here we go with another cliche; step outside of your comfort zone. Remember that quote, “our ability to grow is directly proportional to our ability to entertain the uncomfortable.” Find the girl that invests in that. Find the girl that rents it a room in her soul.

You know all of those things you have been meaning to do? You know all of those people you have been meaning to reach out to? Do those things. Talk to those people. No one is going to do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. That is the beauty of the best things in life, you do them for yourself. What is the beauty of the best people in life? They are free. Yes, I know, Taylor Swift said that first. But hey, the girl’s right. The people in your life that should stay there are those who freely choose to do so. They love you for you. They accept you for you. As you will always do the same for them. This applies to all relationships. Friendships, boyfriends, relatives, pets etc… (well okay, you’re pets will always love you, but you get the point)

As for that boy filed away in the cabinet of your mind. Is he filed under the right section? I want you to truly consider this. Don’t brush it off. What is in the forefront of your mind when you hear his name? Don’t give him a spot nestled in the ‘important’ section of the filing cabinet if he does not deserve it. Acknowledge your heart. But don’t beat it up. Give yourself grace. Be fair to yourself. Be fair to him too. You want your heart to be full in the right way. Keep that in your sights. If he is meant to be a constant in your life, a witness to your daily graces, he will be. Remember, what we said about free people? The point is to remember just that. Free people, they are the best kind.

Gabriella, I want you to be happy. But to do that, you cannot think about being happy. Do not fester on the subject. Live your life. Do not try to write the worlds greatest definition for happiness. After you think you have written it, don’t try to turn it into a verb. Crumple it up and shoot for that three pointer into your garbage can. You cannot just define happiness. You cannot just do happiness. If you try to do so, you will miss the point. Life will whirl past you and you won’t even notice. As your girl Hannah Brencher says, ‘Be where your feet are.”

Give yourself permission to dream little G. Dream bigger than you know is possible. Recall that little girl that said she was going to be a princess. Revive her. Make her part of your everyday.

Most importantly, Gabriella, you are enough. You are enough. That needed to be written twice. Maybe then you will remember it twice as much.  Do something everyday to remind yourself of this.

Sweet girl with your heart on your sleeve, don’t lose your smile.  Your kindness defines you. Your words define you. Be who you need to be for yourself. The rest will fall into place.

Signed with a full heart,

The one knows you best & loves you most


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