For me, turning 24 is a lot more significant than all my other birthdays have been. Since I entered my 20s, each year I talked about growth and experiences and all the other things one often reflects on as they enter a new age. And what does growth mean in this context? It means “the process of developing physically, mentally, or spiritually”. I can say that I’ve seen more growth in the past one year than I’ve seen between the ages of 20 and 23. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t mature during my time at university, of course I did- I learnt from past mistakes and made better choices- however the year I’ve had post-graduation has been a real eye opener.
 For the first time in over a decade I wasn’t in full time education, I wasn’t constantly on the go, there was no structure, no rules or regulations. Basically, no institutionalised order where everything was thought out for me and all I had to do was show up and follow a pattern. That was disorientating, and it took a while to adjust to that, so it left me feeling a bit lost at times. It felt like my life had been on autopilot for so long and then suddenly I became the pilot without warning and had to steer through life without a sense of bearings or direction. (Wow, I’m so dramatic)
 Twenty-three was a year filled with tears, anxiety, fear, anger, disappointments etc. But it was also a year that allowed me to learn new things, develop thick skin, find my voice and regain my confidence. Furthermore, it forced me to be honest with myself- was I really trying hard, or did I just procrastinate a lot? Was I at times the architect of my own demise? Did I lack drive and ambition? What was my next step and what plans did I have for my future?
 Even though they were triggering and uncomfortable, I think those periods of reflection and looking within were vital and enabled me to take those first steps towards changing myself for the better. Now this change isn’t enormous and may not be seen by those around me. This change is an internal one which is ongoing and will continue to evolve over time. I see it in my breaking of toxic cycles and thought processes, I see it in my budding refusal to settle or be complacent, I see it in my positive attitude towards life and all its possibilities- I see it in a lot of things to be honest.
 I’m grateful for all that I’ve experienced this year, even the ones that made me miserable because I believe there was something to learn from each of these moments. Jobs that pushed me out of my comfort zone enabled me to see that I was stronger than I thought, that I actually have the ability to persevere in tough moments. Other situations humbled me and made me realise that I sometimes took my life and my blessings for granted. I wouldn't change any of these experiences as I believe that God used them to guide and direct me to where and who I'm supposed to be.
Furthermore it wasn't all bad! I had said at the beginning of the year that I was going to travel at least once and I managed to go on two holidays, I reconnected with old friends, I built up my social confidence which allowed me to talk to new people and form friendships, I fell in love with my body and finally stopped caring about gaining approval from others, and the list goes on. Sometimes, you need to go through the bad to get to the good right?

So, I am grateful to God for seeing another year- twenty four! Ha wow I'm getting old - and I look forward to what this new age brings. This journey called life is not an easy one but God is faithful and is with us every single step of the way!

Thanks for reading,
Until next time, take care and God bless xx



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