Anyone who has grown up and passed a major milestone (such as a college graduation, or meeting their friend's first child) would probably agree that growing up is weird. For so long, you're trying to find your way in the world, to figure out who you are and what the hell you're doing here, let alone why you're doing it, and then all of a sudden you're one of THEM: an adult. A functioning human, who can pay her own bills and make all of her own choices. It's both an extremely freeing feeling and a terrifying one, all rolled up into one neat little package we like to call life.
I have been blessed with many wonderful people in my life – mentors, mentees, friends, family, random strangers with whom I've shared a moment in time – but there are three women who have consistently been in my life since we were very young. Rachel, Morgan, and Rosa are the three friends who, even though we haven't been in the same place at the same time in four years, can haul ass and all meet up at a coffee shop in Clintonville to catch up like almost no time has passed. These ladies are my ride or die ladies. We've cried together over breakups and boys who didn't know we were interested. We've laughed until we've (almost) peed our pants over stupid decisions and crazy quotes. We've gone on trips together and have ruined Morgan's parents' kitchen many a time concocting our own chocolate-based delicacies. Rachel and I met up twice when we were both studying abroad in Ecuador in 2014, oddly geographically closer there than we were studying in Ohio and Minnesota at the time. Rosa and I spent several years passing a notebook back and forth every week, which chronicled our every thought and stupid piece of drama (middle/high school was not a great time, at least for me). Morgan now has a son named Matthew, the first (and at least for now, only) male addition to the Gethsemane Girls foursome. Suddenly we're not just looking up to the cool college kids we made care packages for in Sunday School, we are those kids and have even surpassed what we thought was the "golden age" of being a young adult... though the phrase "pigs and pearls" will send any of us into an uncontrollable giggle fit, thanks to a hastily answered question during our first Bible Bowl (funnily enough, over the book of Matthew).
I've been watching birthday messages pour onto my Facebook timeline, populate my Snapchat, and come in via text or WhatsApp message since last night, thanks to time zones and friends around the globe, and I am so touched to see the outpouring of love from both people who know me very well and people who are just connected to me via social media. Friends are a gift, and I feel lucky to be able to call people all over the world my friends.
This year, year 23, is big. Obviously, or I wouldn't be sitting at my mom's dining room table furiously typing up this post for this blog, hoping to publish before some more friends (this time, a handful from grad school) arrive to celebrate my birthday. I have most of my challenges for the year laid out (see "the project" tab for details, and let me know what else I should add), a tube for my spit to test my DNA upstairs in my childhood bedroom, and a list about a mile long of books recommended by some of my lovely Facebook friends in a Word document, just waiting to be devoured. Year 23 is a year that will be filled with so many adventures, but it is also a year to give thanks for so, so much... So here we go. Thank you to everyone who has already wished me a Happy Birthday, to everyone who has been part of my life, and to you, for reading this post and helping me justify this project/buying this domain. I'll post again soon.