a quarter of a century

1On Tuesday, October 25th, I became a twenty five year old. I woke up in Toronto, Canada next to Big A and I felt elated. Truthfully, I felt no older than I did the day before, but I do feel older. I feel older than I was when I was a child. I feel older than I was when I was a teenager. I feel older than I was two years ago.  I do feel older and I know exactly why. In the last year, of becoming twenty five, my life has settled into a tranquil lake of experience and emotion. While small problems do come on some days, most days are spent in a feeling of pure euphoria. These days, I am so certain of who I am, where I stand, how I feel, and what I will let penetrate my world of happiness that I think I may be the happiest twenty five year old in Chicago.

Becoming twenty five has not been a day; it has been a life time. It has been a quarter of century of memories, pain, love, places, and people. The last twenty five years (most of which I have an extremely clear and disturbing memory of) have been wonderful.

If you had checked in with me at 4 years old chasing the garbage man down the street as it ate my doll stroller….. or in the second grade as I sat in the principal’s office with my first pink slip for kicking a girl and then lying to the teacher about it…. or in the sixth grade receiving the President’s Honor Roll from George Bush for straight A’s through secondary school…. or later that same year when I said a curse word and then cleaned the bus for a week… or in the seventh grade on the sidelines of a home team football game when I got my first kiss…. or attending the prom in the 9th grade with my sister and load of friends I’ll never forget…. or in the 10th grade getting caught sneaking out to meet a boy…. or graduating in 2009 instead of 2010…. or getting dumped as I left for a four year college and moving away from everyone I knew…. or losing two of my closest friends in two years… or graduating from college by 2013….. or getting married…. or working full time in retail for two years…  or moving to Texas…. or getting divorced….  or meeting my best friend, E…. or losing my uncle…. or having no place to call home…. or meeting Big  A…. or getting a roommate, E, ….. or dating Big A…. or moving to Chicago….you would probably have received a wave of emotions. But now all those things seem so small and trivial, yet they are the pieces that assemble into the masterpiece of which I have become.

I am a collection of twenty five years of experiences and I could not be happier or more proud of who I have become. Whether you just joined, have been here for all the years, or have already left, thank you for all that you have contributed to who I am. Whether it was long, brief, or everlasting, I am so happy that I have felt the love, loss, and growth that is the human experience.

Cheers to twenty five years!2 3 4 5 6 7 8I got the most precious card and gift from Big A, a card and a ring (not that kind of ring) that had a raw Garnet Stone symbolizing the month of January from when we met a few years ago. 9 10 11


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  1. Kimberly Burns

    Wow!! Stunning pictures!! You look wonderful!! I am so very proud of you!!! I love you so much!! I look forward to seeing what the future hold for you!!!

  2. Dad

    You have become a wonderful young lady that your mother and I are proud of. There were a few of those years, I was not sure you were going to live through. Love you very much!!

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