Tis my birfday. Yes, that is the correct spelling of birfday because it’s mine and I say so. So there.

I’m no longer a prime number… sad day.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year and all that’s happened. If I were to give 23 a single word or theme it would be “exploration”. It’s been a year of finding out who I am and what I want life to look like. This year I left my faith, losing my complete framework for living. It was a decision long in the making but it wasn’t until November that I finally made the decision and got off the fence.

I decided to find out what it felt like to live in different ways. I decided to push my limits and see how things made me feel. I had my heart broken twice. I fell in like, lust, love, and everything in between. I made mistakes, was slightly self-destructive, found the lines that should not be crossed, and did things I never thought I would. I made new friends, lost some old ones, remade old friends, healed familial relationships, and lost one family member. I moved out into my own apartment, gave up my car, changed jobs, and learned how to complete my look.

This year I also lost 38.8lbs (I’m at 225 right now even though I didn’t post it on Monday).

23 was an incredibly difficult and yet completely exhilarating year. I don’t regret the mistakes and poor choices I made because I learned from each one. I’m learning what it looks like to be an adult and to make adult choices. I’m learning how to deal with hard circumstances, heartbreak, and changes without looking to a higher power. Finally, I’m just barely learning how to trust myself.

The word I want to give to 24, though, is “formation”. With the loss of my worldview and framework, I found myself too malleable, too impressionable. I’ve felt tossed around with each new idea and opinion thrown at me. I’m still not quite sure who that girl in the mirror is. She seems strange and foreign to me. She seems to know something I don’t. Yet, for the first time in my life, I think she’s beautiful and perhaps that’s why she seems so strange to me.

This new girl has yet to be able to own it because she’s not really sure what she’s owning. I still can’t tell what is authentically from me and what’s being put upon me. I think that comes with time.

Reading last year’s birthday post I sound so much younger, so much more excited. I think that’s a good and bad thing. Clearly this year has taken it’s toll on me, yet 23 has been more rewarding than any other year I’ve had yet. I’m in the process of becoming and while it’s a hard, painstaking task, it will be worth it in the long run. I don’t know how I’ll look back at this year ten years from now. Perhaps I’ll look and shake my head at myself for my silliness over that certain someone. Then again, perhaps I’ll look back and cherish the beginning of something that might still be in progress.

Maybe I’ll feel sadness over December and January’s sluttery. Or, maybe I’ll see the larger picture of the pain of the changes I was going through and understand why I did all that I did.

I don’t know how I’ll look back at myself at 23. For that matter, I don’t know how I’ll look back at myself at 24, that has yet to be determined.

What I do know at present is that I’m changing, growing, maturing, and becoming.  I hope that at the end of 24 I’ll have regained that confidence I once had in who I was, even if it was an inaccurate version of me. I hope that the girl in the mirror will look and feel like me.

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