Monday, January 31, 2011

A Year of Growth.

When I think of what people consider the "milestone" birthdays, there are only a few that come to mind - the Sweet 16, or turning 18 so you're legally an adult and can do all the crazy stuff your parents told you not to, like buy cigarettes and lottery tickets, and then of course, you wait and wait and wait, and turn 21 only to most likely have way too many free shots that your friends/people at the bar are pouring for you and wake up the next morning never wanting to drink again. (Obviously I don't say this from personal experience or anything).

I had a kickass Sweet 16 party where I was surrounded by my dearest friends and family and had an amazing time, went out to dinner with 15 of my closest high school friends for my 18th birthday along with my parents (and may I please tell you that in that 15 there were only 3 girls, including me - ah!), and for my 21st, I celebrated not once or twice, but three times, with three separate groups of friends.

However....

22 has been a crazy year for me - a year of tremendous ups and life-changing downs. I feel that 22 was a year when I really came into myself - I've learned, I've grown, I've changed for the better and I have a better idea of who I am as a person. There have been the big triumphs and the small ones, but they are all so meaningful to me, and I am confident that they are all steps that I need to take to continue to grow.

(My mom made this cake and brought it up to Pennsylvania last year for my birthday!).
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To me, 22 has been a year that I will look back on - it has become a milestone birthday to me, just because of all the experiences I've had - good and bad, because I'm a firm believer that all the things we go through shape us for the future.

As a twenty-two year old I...


Played in the blizzard (like a five year old).
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Ate cupcakes.
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Went through relationship ups and downs.
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Student taught - and was reaffirmed that teaching is what I'm supposed to be doing.
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Tried out a ton of new restaurants/foods.
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Learned how to tell people no.

Graduated (with honors).
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Traveled to China.
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Learned to appreciate and respect my parents.
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Did not wear makeup for almost the entire time I was in China.
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Laughed often.
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Threw a bridal shower.
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Celebrated birthdays.
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Spent lazy days at the beach.

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Said goodbye to my best friends, some that I've lived with for three/four years.
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Learned how much fun I can have with my family.
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Sucked it up when I hated my job and went in with a smile on my face every day.

Made birthday cakes for both my parents.
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Tried a ton of new drinks.
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Was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings.
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Stood up for what I believe in - and for myself when I needed to.


Had one of the best Thanksgivings I've ever experienced.
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Ended my (almost) two-year relationship - and am BETTER than okay with that decision :)


Learned how many people I have in my life who love and support me through it all (seriously, the emails, texts, Tweets, comments have meant the WORLD to me).

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I thank each and every one of you for helping to make my year so amazing. You are all truly wonderful people, and all of you - the ones who I've known since literally Day 1 of blogging, and those who I've just started talking to - I look forward to what this next year has in store! (Hopefully some blogger meet-ups somewhere?!).

As I blow out my twenty-three candles on Thursday (coincidentally the same day as Chinese New Year), I will be thinking of you all, and how special you are to me (really!).

P.S. Saw this picture, could there possibly be a better birthday cake for me out there?!

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via


Currently listening to: Kid Cudi - Soundtrack 2 My Life

27 comments:

Couture Carrie said...

What a wonderful year you had!
So full of milestones!
Happy Birthday, darling A!

xoxox,
CC

Mileide Almeida said...

Great blog!! *-*

yiqin; said...

Wow, honours? Congrats!

Lindsay said...

Isn't it amazing when you reflect on everything that happens in just one year? You did so many awesome things!! That starbucks cake would be sooo perfect for you! Happy early birthday doll!

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

Wow, it really was a huge year for you!

I didn't realize you and J had broken up! I'm so happy you're happy with it. I'm sure good, good things are head. :)

Happy early birthday! (And early gung hay fat choy!)

HiFashion said...

I'm turning 23 in the summer, and I feel that 22 was life changing to me as well. I grew up the most.

Love what you did over the last year. Playing in the sbnow is so much fun! And sounds like the China trip was a great experience.
Glad you had such a great year.

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

Pretty amazing year of growth... loved reading a long a little bit on the journey. Learning to say no, relationships, good food, friends, family... sounds like a good year!! Happy almost Birthday! And China... wow, what a great experience!!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

What a wonderful year you had! Can you believe you packed all that in to one year?! I think this next year is going to be even better! If I don't talk to you before Thursday - happy birthday dear friend!!! xoxo!

amy b.s. said...

congratulations on your wonderful, and strengthening, year! here’s to another one!

A New England Girl said...

I love you! And I am so happy and blessed that you think me (and the rest of us) special enough to be included in all of your life-changing and growing moments. You're one of my favorite people and I am so happy that you found all of the good that came out of 22... 23 is going to be even better for you, I just know it. :)

muah!
xoxoxo

▲my• said...

Sounds like an amazing year was had!

So much good food too :D

And in fact there is a meetup this summer. So send me an email if you're interested. We're keeping it tight and between bloggers who've been friends for a few years, and I know we'd all love to have you! :D

MizzJ said...

Phew what a year! Sorry to hear about your relationship, but I can definitely say that what all that cheesy stuff people say about time and moving on, is absolutely true. And you MUST get that Starbucks cake!! It is so you :)

Em [the writer] said...

Happy early birthday!!! That seems like a great amount of things you achieved. How was China? It seems like such a great place to visit! Hope you accomplish even more when you're 23 :)

P.S. That cake looks delicious!

P.S.S. Thank you for such a great comment! It truly made my day, and I will make sure to see Black Swan this weekend. After what you said I am excited to see all the fabulous outfits! Have a great birthday week!

Style, She Wrote said...

Thanks for the recap! Sounds like you've had an amazing year! xo style, she wrote

Jocelyn said...

Fantastic post! I didn't know about you and J! Did I miss a post somewhere?! It sounds like you were okay with that decision so that's good! I am glad that you have made it through another year! The journey makes the man. OR does the man make the journey?

That picture of sushi made me drool... I just got done with 5 hours of straight lecture and all I need is a yummy sushi roll... ah!

I love you Allison. I feel like you're my sister even though we have never met. I hope one day we will be able to! :) I have been scouring my itunes. So expect a tweet from me soon my dear :)

Lani said...

Happy early birthday! May your 23rd be more amazing than the last.

Ok now all your food pics are making me hungry.

Thanks for the pics and a wonderful blog!

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Well you seem to have had a great year (mostly). I also went to China this year, for my honeymoon, it's amazing isn't it! Happy Birthday for Thursday, hope you have a great one!

Daisy Dayz Home
Cross-Jones-Photography Home

Anait said...

What a beautiful post!You've had a wonderful year, and so many accomplishments, you should be very proud. May your 23rd year bring many,many more memories, adventures and accomplishments :) Have a wonderful birthday, and don't forget to make a wish!

Lee Oliveira said...

WOW.. what a great year you just had.
Love your smile
lee x

Sara Louise said...

Great year! And you're right, everything we go through, both good and bad, shapes us and puts us on a path. And life is fun path!!
Cheers to another great year!
(I WANT that birthday cake!)

Croatian_Latina said...

awwww...I feel like your older sister, I'm so proud of you, you've had so many accomplishments.." I'm a firm believer that all the things we go through shape us for the future." (so true!, thank you again for your words of encouragement!)

I wish all the best this year, you deserve all the happiness!!!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Girl, you are almost five full years younger tan me but you are such a far better person than me! You are so strong and confident, beauiful and outgoing, I could go on and on!! You have been through so much and remain SO awesome. I am so glad we've gotten to know each other more closely in the past few months. I really value our friednship. One day we'll figure out a way to meet in person. Maybe New Orleans? ;)

Olive said...

Allison, you are fabulous and I adored this post.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!
I hope it's an amazing day filled with fun and plenty of new memories to share with us when you get the chance ;)
23 might not be one of those traditional "milestone" birthdays, but in reality it's all about where you're at as a person, and it sounds like you have had a crazy, exciting year, and it's awesome that you've been able to really come into yourself, and I'm sure that will continue in the years to come :). With that being said, I would say you have plenty to celebrate being 23 years young :D.
Aw! The cake your mom made last year is gorgeous--so sweet! Literally too I'm sure :P! You have so much to feel accomplished of for the past year. I absolutely love the pictures on you and the kids--I'm so glad that you found your calling, you're miles ahead of most people your age--kudos to you! Learning to appreciate and respect your parents has to be one of the hardest lessons in life, and it's something I'm sort of going through myself--you'll see on my blog. Your parents are adorable though, and I'm glad you can have such a good relationship with them, and it's great how you made them each a birthday cake. The bridal shower looks like fun--love the hanging underwear, haha! I love all of the photos, and I'm so happy that you've had such an eventful, milestone sort of year. I see it's official with J, and I'm happy for you feeling confident about that decision--it sounds like it was the right choice for you, and that's what matters most :). So have a fantastic birthday Allison, I hope it's a wonderful time!

xox, Olivia

Kristin said...

I'm so happy to see you in such a positive place!

LEONID GUREVICH said...

Allison dear

i just realized i can't remember if i ever responded to your question. I am so sorry - i do freehand drawings, ink it in, scan them, and then color digitally in Photoshop. Thank you for your sweet words.

The cake your mom made looks so amazing. Looking at your pics - you had such a fantastic year. may all your years be filled with joy and exciting trips.

<3

Leon

Lauren said...

What a lovely year. I hope your next is even more memorable (in the good way) :>

la petite fashionista said...

I'm about a month from turning 22 and I know it's going to be full of a lot of the same life changes you've been experiencing. So good to have support from other bloggers:) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! <3 eat lots of cupcakes :)