When I was 16 months old, my sister was born, and I learned that with her around, I always had a built-in partner in crime. I learned how to share and how to play nicely. I learned that sometimes, a tantrum will get you a hug and a lollipop, but sometimes, it will just get you a timeout in your room.
When I was two years old, I learned to read, and haven’t stopped since. I learned that a book can take you places that in your wildest dreams, you could not imagine, and I learned that I was lucky for finding something I loved as much as I loved books. I learned that a lively, wild, active imagination was going to take me far in life, and it has.
When I was nine years old, I slept through an earthquake, and learned that both the ground beneath me and the life before me was not always going to be firm and steady. I learned that just because you have an argument with a friend, doesn’t mean the friendship is over, and I learned how to fight fair and make-up sweet. I learned that people you love die, and it’s okay to miss them, and I learned that life goes on.
When I was twelve years old, I kissed a boy for the first time, and I learned what puppy-love was. I learned that special feeling that runs deep down into your tummy like butterflies when you see the one you love. And a few months later, I learned what heartbreak felt like. I learned that even when you feel like your world is over, it’s not, and I learned that there would be other crushes and boyfriends and falling-in-loves.
When I was sixteen years old, I learned how to drive, and learned to keep my eyes on the road and my seatbelt fastened at all times. I learned that sometimes people say no when they mean yes, and I learned that it really is okay not to do something just because everyone else is doing it.
When I was eighteen years old, I went off to college, and I learned more about myself and what I was capable of than I ever knew before. I learned about homesickness, then about independence, and being on my own, and taking care of myself in a state hundreds of miles away from home. I learned how to make a decision that changed my life, that introduced me to a group of girls I loved like they were sisters. I learned how to do laundry and fix my wireless internet and how to play beer pong. I learned when to work hard and when to relax and when to blow everything off for a drink with a friend at the bar.
When I was 21 years old, I graduated college, and learned that the real world wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I missed my friends, scattered across the country, and so I learned how to be the best possible long-distance friend. I learned the satisfaction that comes from earning your first paycheck, and then I learned how fast that paycheck goes when it covers things like bills and groceries, instead of shoes and lipstick. I learned that relationships take work, and that sometimes no matter how much you love someone, there comes a point when you have to say goodbye. I learned that sometimes things end, so that wonderful new things can begin.
Today I am 25 years old. Happy birthday to me :)
Here’s to the next 25. I can't wait to see what I will learn next!