Life is wonderful, and complex, and confusing.
I turned 26 last week, and I'm feeling ANCIENT. I know that 26 in the grand scheme of things isn't old, but good luck explaining that to a woman who's just passed her quarter-of-a-century anniversary on this planet.
This definitely isn't where I expected to be at this point in my life.
In my high school health class, we had to do a presentation on where we saw ourselves being in ten years time. Mine went something along the line of I'll be an elementary school teacher, married, starting a family, be a home owner, and be entirely satisfied with my life. Well surprise, 16 year old me, your life didn't quite turn out that way.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying I hate who/where I am, but my life trajectory has definitely changed paths.
How could I have imagined 10 years ago that I would get to university and discover that I had an overwhelming passion for history? How could I have guessed that said BA in history wouldn't instantly get me an amazing career? How could I have seen that love can be complex, and that relationships don't usually work like they do in Rom-Coms? (At 16 this is where a staggering amount of my relationship knowledge came from.)
I've done a lot of things that I'm proud of in the 26 years that I've been alive. I've travelled, I've repeatedly loved and lost and loved again, I've made amazing life-long friends. I've had jobs that I loved, and some that were simply ways to pay the bills. I've made some amazingly poor choices, but I've also made a lot of incredibly good ones. And all these experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today.
So here's me at 26 - flawed, a bit jaded - but still hopeful. I may not be where I expected to be at this point, but I'm making my own way in the world, and figuring out who I am. And that's really okay.