I look at the girl in this picture, and my heart hurts for her.
I remember how hopeless this birthday felt-how much this moment ached. I remember the forced smile and the wishes I made on those candles. I remember reminding myself that even though it felt like it, this was not the end.
And you know what? It definitely wasn't.
What a year.
What a chapter.
The lessons I learned from you are irreplaceable. The memories we made despite the heartache will always be some of my favorites (Cozumel, anyone?). The friends and family I have grown closer with and the little girl I have poured myself into throughout your days are the biggest reason why I'm still here.
It's been a doozie.
And as much as I am dreading turning another year older, I am also ready to embrace it.
I'm ready to kiss my young adulthood goodbye, because I've done a lot of growing up over this last year.
I would skip a night out on the town just to spend a night at home watching Frozen with Emma in a heartbeat.
It's amazing what a year of gaining a new perspective will do for you, especially when you finally let go of the thing that was clouding your judgement.
Thank you for that, 28.
Thank you for that and so much more.
Thank you for the tears, the growing pains, and the laughter.
Thank you for more dinners in.
More books checked off my reading wish list.
More hours towards my degree.
And more date nights with my daughter.
Thank you for the memories I've made with my family.
Thank you for the bridges I've burned, and the ones we've been able to slowly mend.
Thank you for best friends who keep me laughing, and sisters who keep me grounded.
Thank you for introducing me to a career that I just so happen to be in love with, and for putting me on the path to the boy I love even more.
I am blessed, 28.
Despite the pain in those eyes.
I have been blessed.
And you know what? I have a feeling that 29 is going to be even better.
The Birthday Girl