Reflecting on another year around the sun.

I celebrated my twenty-fourth birthday last weekend, on September 15th. In the days leading up to my birthday, I always try to reflect on where I’ve been in the past year; not just physically, of course, but also how I’ve grown and changed mentally.

Those three-hundred-and-sixty-five days between twenty-three and twenty-four were a transformative bunch. It was an intense year of personal growth and change, but ultimately, I feel that this was one of the most important years yet.

cream on cream

Twenty-three was an especially challenging year. I’ve written about some of those challenges before in a previous post, so I won’t bother recounting those particular components. Instead, I’d like to focus on what lessons this past year taught me. I know I’ll carry them with me for the rest of my life.

The most important lesson was the lesson in perseverance. I am a very stubborn person by nature, and I hate giving up just because something has become difficult. (This has come back to bite me, on occasion.) However, my stubbornness and unwillingness to give up served me well this year. Even though it was aggravating to be turned down for job after job during my search, I knew that I had to keep trying. On my worst days, I need to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Asking myself why kept me focused and driven. And yes, there will be situations where I’ll be forced to give up. But “giving up” doesn’t have to be passive; it can take the form of actively looking for an alternative solution.

monochrome look

With that said, I also learned when to walk away from the things that are harmful to me. This was a pivotal moment. I’ve always cared deeply for the people in my life, whether they’re platonic relationships or romantic ones. However, I have realized that caring for others has to go both ways… “Do unto others as you would have done to you,” isn’t that how the saying goes? This year, I accepted the lesson that it’s okay to distance yourself from people that don’t bring out your best self.

A third — but not final — lesson was this: to be confident in who I am and what I know I can do. Perseverance taught me to keep going, and the small good things along the way were a reminder that I am on the right track. I don’t have everything entirely together, but I am learning, and humbling myself to learn is crucial to improving at anything in life. All I can do is my best, so I need to own that.

So, here’s to twenty-four: may it teach me what I do not yet know, and bring the best things into my world.

all white

Outfit details: Almina Concept sweater, Mango trousers.