This week, I will turn 24.

It’s not a big year for most people. But… for me, 24 is a big one.

Because there were many, many days this past year when I didn’t think that I was going to make it to my 24th birthday.

23 was full of extreme highs and extreme lows, and major life changes.

I lived in Nepal. I went to Hong Kong (and fell in love with cities). My first long term relationship ended. I graduated from university. I moved in with my parents. And then moved out again. I went to see a counselor. I planned and went on my first solo trip – New York City. I started a graduate certificate program. I did a solo trip to Chicago. I initiated a breakup for the first time. I applied for a job back in Nepal. And got it. And I made some truly amazing, incredible friends.

I’m honestly not entirely sure how all of that fit into 365 days. And I’m really not sure how I managed to handle it all.

But, as cheesy as it sounds… I learned so much from it all.

I learned who my real friends are. I learned how to take care of me. I learned about being alone and found the beauty in it. I learned to admit when I need help. I learned how strong I am. And, maybe most importantly, I learned to be myself.

Now, I’m looking ahead into 24 knowing that no matter what the year throws at me, no matter how many mountains and valleys stand between now and 25, I can handle it, and I’ve got the confidence to make this year better than the last.

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