I clearly remember talking to my friends in fourth grade about our birthdays. Someone mentioned a “golden birthday”, which is when you turn the age of the day you were born, and I have patiently been waiting ever since for the day I would turn 23. Back then 23 sounded so old. I liked to imagine that I would be a super successful artist and author, or maybe married with kids, or possibly even a missionary in a foreign country. What would I look like? Would I be tall or short, skinny or fat? Would I still love writing and drawing, or would I be into something else by then? Would I marry the boy I currently had a crush on, or would I be single? I loved guessing what I’d be like when I grew up, and now that it’s here, it’s crazy to see how my life has unfolded.
I once believed I would become a singer (and even designed my first CD cover), and then a famous artist (I made sure to diligently write in my diaries so people would have plenty of material for my biographies when I became famous), but I always knew deep down that I would become a teacher. I thought I should get married right after high school (boy am I glad that didn’t happen! I was so young and immature at 18) and that I would drive a VW Beetle and work at Starbucks. It makes me smile when I remember how ambitious I was when I was young, and how the age I once thought I would have everything figured out now feels a lot younger than I used to think.
I can’t believe that today I turn 23. I know that’s really not that old, I mean I am not even a year out of college, I’m still trying to figure out this whole adulting thing and I still look like a high schooler most days. But it has been a wonderful 23 years, full of love and laughter, family and friends, and adventures and grace.
This past year in particular has been the best. I was offered my dream job teaching a 3rd grade dual language classroom (the interview was actually on my birthday last year). I graduated from college. I married my high school sweetheart and best friend. I met my amazing partner teacher and coworkers. We joined a church that has encouraged and spurred us towards being more like Christ. I have met some very dear friends that I know will last a lifetime. I had to learn the ins and outs of apartment living and juggling life as a professional adult. I stood by one of my closest friends’ side while she said “I do” to her Prince Charming. We ran our second half marathon. And best of all I have learned so much more about who God is and how I need to serve him.
This past year has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 23 holds. Here’s to turning 23!