Twenty-three and twenty-four were the best 2 years of my life thus far and I have no reason to think twenty-five won’t be better still. In the name of being sentimental, let’s recap:
At twenty-three I graduated college, took a job in Florida, and moved 17 hours away from my family. That was a pretty intense first year of adulthood, but I’m grateful for all the experiences. I also set some big goals that year. I realized at twenty-three that my current job wasn’t going to last long, so I made a goal to find a job I could see myself in for years to come. I set a goal to be a homeowner by twenty-five – a dream of mine was always to own my first home while I was still single.
When twenty-four breezed on by me, I worried that there was no way it could top twenty-three. I even had the ‘ohmygosh have I peaked?!’ conversation with my best friend. A little over the top, I realize. I honestly couldn’t imagine life getting any better. But then I was able to meet both of my big goals for the year early on, I relaxed. I started my current job 2 days after my 24th birthday, and have now been working here for almost a year. I love my company, my coworkers, and what I do here. A blessing I do not take for granted. A few months later I signed the papers to buy my first home, a townhouse in S Tampa – 2 blocks from the water! A total dream-come-true for me and a big step to feeling settled in my new hometown.
Twenty-four went on to be a great year for me spiritually, intellectually, financially (thank you Dave Ramsey), and most of all relationally. I made my best effort yet to stay in touch with my family members and saw those relationships grow. I built a sort of ‘Tampa Family’ here that I’m grateful for. And finally, I found a few close friends I truly believe will be my friends for life. When you’re new in town it’s huge to find people to ‘do life’ with – that encourage you but keep you grounded and realistic. I owe these people in my life an immeasurable debt of gratitude.
This was an adventurous year for me. I lead a financial peace class at church. Me! The one who not only can barely do basic math without a calculator and a tutor but who couldn’t keep a $5 bill in my wallet for more than an hour until recently. Most of the people in my group were older than me and farther along in life, so I felt intimidated by ‘leading’ these people who had to wonder what made me qualified. It was a great experience even as I stretched myself to practice, not just preach.
Later on in the year we launched a bible study in my home that continues to amaze and bless me. What a great group of girls the Lord has brought together. I look forward to growing with them for years to come (Lord willing).
A few other highlights of 24:
- Attended my 2nd Super Bowl of my lifetime in Miami, FL (though my team did lose…sad)
- Made my first big Craigslist purchase (a burgundy velvet couch)
- Built my first piece of furniture from Ikea (like rocket science – I swear)
- Have read over 50 books from 24 to 25
- Visited both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the first time – 2 new cities and NFL facilities to add to my list
- And lost over 40 lbs with healthy eating habits and exercise
If you’re wondering what my birthday celebration plans are…well, I’ll be in Indianapolis next weekend celebrating by watching Peyton and Eli Manning going head-to-head on Sunday Night Football and chowing at my favorite Indy restaurant – Stone Creek Grill (eat there, it’s life-changing). For my actual birthday weekend, I’m getting a grubbing in with friends and relaxing poolside.
Thank you for your continued readership, love, and support.
Here’s to 25 being the biggest and best year yet!