Dress: Anthropologie; Shoes: Aldo; Sunnies: Oliver Peoples
On Sunday morning, my sister came into my room and put a gift bag on my bed. Granted, my birthday isn’t until tomorrow, but she felt like since it was the day of the party I was throwing for myself and my friends – it was the perfect opportunity to open her present.
Inside the bag, was a box and in the box was a bracelet with a single charm: a phoenix.
She said it reminded her of this past year and of how far I’ve come, and felt like it could be a little constant reminder of that. There was a pamphlet with the bracelet, too, which stated: CHANGE IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL. It very well may be one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.
It’s no secret that 24 has been the most important year of my life thus far. But instead of sitting here discussing myself and my feelings at length, like I usually do, I wanted to write a little love diddy to those who got me through age 24 in one piece…cause if I’m being honest, you’re all the real reason as to why I’m the person sitting here writing this today.
I’ve always been a social person – but this year just reminded me how #blessed I am to have MY people. My friends. The real loves of my life. The ones I can call in the middle of the night to squeal over a new guy, or the ones who will sit in front of me and just tell me how it is, no matter how tough the truth can be to swallow. Kellen, Amanda, Justine, Lisa, Beau, Emily, Lexi, Jacob – you’re the best people I’ve ever known. I strive to be a better person every single day because of you, because of how much you’ve done for me and how desperate I am to return the favor and be a stand-up person for all of you. You fill my heart with so much love and I’m telepathically sending all of you hugs and glasses of Smoking Loon right now.
Within a month of the breakup, I was invited out on the town with a group of people who quickly, and without questions, took me in as one of their own. To the Team – my dear friends who adopted me and took me under their wings when I was at my lowest point: Briena, Shawna, Breanna, Kylie, Ricky, Amber, Lindsey. You’re all extraordinary humans with so much to offer and I’m just insanely lucky you’ve given me the opportunity to share in this chapter of our lives together.
To the women I’ve worked with: India, Kellie, Misha, Debs, Kristen, Jasmin. Incredible women and extraordinary role models who represent so many different aspects of life and remind me everyday that teamwork and being kind is the only way to really get through this life in one piece. You’re the ones I look to when I want to know how to be better in business, in fashion and in life. You’re my icons, my mentors, and the people I try and emulate on a daily basis.
To the friends that I don’t see often, but who are ALWAYS there with an uplifting word, dating tips, a hilarious tweet or photo, or just even the ability and willingness to bitch about our annoyances. The beauty is that when we do reunite, whether it be in Seattle, Sacramento, St. Louis, Austin or New York (let’s be real, the world is our oyster), it’s like no time has passed. And that’s the sign of something real. Know that we may not see each other often, but you’re constantly in my heart.
My sister – my sounding board. My forever friend who will be by my side for the rest of my life. The girl who literally picked me up off the ground and rallied the troops to be by my side. You’re my hero, Kate. You make me want to be a better person. You make me want to stand strongly by your side, a sister and friend you can always rely on. You’ve taught me so much, with your quiet brilliance, and I’m just lucky to be able to sit on the sidelines and watch you shine.
And finally, my backbones, my parents. My mother and father – two extraordinary human beings who have proved to be endless pillars of strength, time and time again. With my dad, I have wisdom and determination. He’s a solid guy, who has had a solid career, and who has raised two daughters to be head-strong, motivated feminists who both know that the only people standing in our way is ourselves. My mother, the emotion and the heart in my life, is the one who held me as I sobbed in bed all of those nights back in the Spring – the one who held my hand and felt my anger when I thought I would never find the light again. They made me who I am. They nursed me, guided me and cheered me on – teaching and instilling in me what it is to be a good person along the way.
Ultimately, 24 was the year where I finally felt like I found my voice. My own voice.
But it’s a voice that is also mixed with dozens of other voices. My friends, my family, the guys I’ve loved and lost; the disappointments and the great successes. I’m a culmination of experiences and of extraordinary people, and I have learned more in these past twelve months than I have in any other year of my life.
Let’s be real. I’m terrified to turn 25. Getting older is scary. And knowing that I will never be as young as I am in this moment is enough to want to make me want to run upstairs and cry and never leave my room again. But, at the end of the day, I have people. I have a long list of loved ones who make this crazy life worth living and THEY are the ones who make me so ridiculously excited for the future.
So, on the eve of my 25th birthday, I just wanted to say thank you…
Thank you for letting me love you.