This same “eve of my birthday” blog post last year was filled with an email check list that I hoped to achieve by my 23rd birthday, along with a self made pity party about not being married, not having children, and being poor. I do realize and recognize that I complained a lot in the past year about a wedding, a family, and graduating college. But I also realized that I could not have accomplished any of that before going through my 24th year. This year changed me, shaped me, and prepared me.

Ready for some honesty? 24 sucked. Twelve months of learning things the hard way, being pushed to the point of tears, and wondering when I would catch a break. I was on an internal struggle, and external struggle, and maybe even some type of other-worldly struggle. Basically that’s what I’m getting at here is that I lived in struggle.

My self-image was stuck on a 260 pound girl without confidence. My relationship was stuck on the internet’s definition of “true love”. My job was mostly stuck part time, which was a catalyst for daily panic attacks about finances. I basked in an emotional state of anxiety and hypochondria which was usually masked by a smile in public, and thousands of tears in private. I was a hot mess.

It took me eleven months of being a crabby bitch to realize that I didn’t need to live this way. When I reflected on the year of 24, I realized that while moments individually may have sucked, overall it taught me a lot.  Money is JUST money, and that it can’t completely rule you life. You work daily. You work for a paycheck. And you work hard to enjoy your life, so live it.- Lesson one.  No one is perfect, even the people you love. The internet doesn’t get to say how your relationship is defined. I decided that my definition needed a lot more trust, forgiveness, and that it deserved ALL of my heart. Love isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. – Lesson two. My body is mine FOREVER. I no longer have time to consume myself with my daily aches and pains. I can’t allow myself time to constantly worry about the world around me. I don’t give a shit about the extra stomach fat or my large thighs. When I look in the mirror I see a damn catch, and now parade myself around like one. Self love. – Lesson three.

24 was filled with lessons that I didn’t necessarily want to learn the hard way, but Jen Fairbanks and “easy” can’t be in the same sentence apparently… So here we are- a self educated mid-twenties chick, who’s finally able to love herself, her people, and her success as she should. It only took an entire year of my life- but who’s counting? Quarter life crisis over.

Cheers to 25.

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