It is my twentieth birthday; as of today, I will no longer be considered a teenager, or a child, for that matter. I can look in the mirror and officially say that I am both an adult and a woman.
And while the definition of "adult" can be argued, I must say that being twenty is still somewhat flabbergasting. For many years, I could only dream about what this particular stage of my life would be like. I always wanted to be older, for a variety of reasons. And now that I am, I have to say that I feel like I can genuinely enjoy right where I'm at. No, I don't miss being particularly young, but I'm not in a mad rush to go forward, either.
I realize that as far as our society is concerned, twenty is not a huge age. My friend once described it as sort of a tease; simply because you can do just about everything except legally drink. But when it comes to my own personal experiences, I would definitely say that this is an incredible feat; not only a milestone, but a genuine miracle.
For those not familiar with the story of my birth, I was basically born a premature baby and spent about four months in the NICU. In the early nineties, most newborns in those circumstances were predicted not to survive for very long, if at all. And even if they did live, doctors would spout out a list of do's and don'ts. I've never asked my parents if they were subjected to such. However, I'm pretty sure that the expectations weren't very high.
Cliche as it may be, I have proved them wrong. Dead wrong. And it's not over yet.
The miracle is not just about physical capabilities, but emotional ones too. I don't usually speak of this, but there was a time (well, more like several times) where I was ready to give up. I was convinced that I had been forever changed by the negativity and pain that I had endured previously; that my life was meant to be devoid of truly meaningful relationships, especially with my family. I hate saying this, but I had begun to prepare myself to live life completely on my own.
And in these last few months, I have both learned and seen that we're not made for that, nor are we meant for it. I am beyond grateful to God for giving me both the willpower and the courage to face the demons that I had been running from for a very long time.
I'm not going to predict where I'll be in how many years down the road; I find true joy in taking each day as it comes and being present in the current moment. I do have goals and aspirations, but a lot of them were previously discussed in my December and January posts.
However, if there is one thing that I can hope that my twenties will be defined by, it's that I will be able to allow my personality and heart to shine. I say this because the majority of my tween and teen years were dominated what other people thought of me; I was constantly trying to live up to various pieces of advice and expectations, and none of it ended up doing me any good. I am now in a place where I can say that I absolutely love and appreciate myself, and I don't want anyone else's views to hinder that.
I have come so incredibly far in life, and something tells me this particular journey has only just begun.