Another year has been added to my memories

the+people+who+have+truly+gotten+me+through+these+seventeen+years

the people who have truly gotten me through these seventeen years

Seventeen.

I have learned so much. From learning how to ride a bike to learning how to forgive even when it’s hard. These past seventeen years, I have been blessed with what has been amazing; I could not ask for anything more than I have been given.

For the people I have met, the places I have seen, and the memories I have made, I am eternally grateful. Without these people and places, I can guarantee I would have been a completely different person.

It is so insane to think that I have grown up with my best friend, who will soon turn seventeen in just eight days. We have grown up together; we have been by each other’s side for this long of a time. It is crazy to think that the friendships I had created in elementary school have turned into so much more. Friends I never imagined growing up with have been with me through all of my ups and downs.

Over the past years, I have found the place I want to spend the rest of my life in, the place I one day want to raise my own children. Never once would I have imagined my naive self in a place so foreign yet so incredibly loved by me and many others.

These pictures taken so many years ago molded me into who I am today; while life has its moments, I could not be less grateful.”

Looking back on old pictures, I found myself wondering why I would wear a certain item of clothing, or why exactly I so desperately wanted my five-year-old birthday party to be Sesame Street themed. Yet, these pictures seem to point to a bigger picture: who I have become today. These pictures taken so many years ago molded me into who I am today; while life has its moments, I could not be less grateful.

To the times when all I was able to do was ask “why?”, thank you. You allowed me to face challenges that looked bigger than me. You allowed me to find the only way through. You allowed me to look to the present and see just how far I have come.

To seventeen—which seems so much older than sixteen—I am so excited to see what you have in store for me. I can only hope that there will be times overflowing with growth and happiness. But, I also know that there will always be times of rejection and hardships, but I am ready.

I am so beyond ready to face this new chapter in my life that I have so desperately longed for.