Twenty-five did a number on me. It gave me hope for my future only to rip it all apart as easily as tearing a piece of paper. Twenty-five had me feeling all the feelings: good, bad, happy, sad, joyous, angry, and mostly hurt. Yeah, twenty-five hurt. My twenty-fifth year taught me a lot, mostly about life, pain, and the false sense of security that comes along with it all. It taught me that people lie and cheat and steal. I learned how it felt to have my life completely turned upside down in only a sliver of time. In my twenty-fifth year, I knew a lot of pain, hurt, disappointment, and devastation.

So, this year, I’m focusing on me. Not to be selfish, but I’ve had a lot of change happen this past year, and I have to wade through it all to figure out who I am without a husband. I need to figure out what my next step in life is. I need new goals and wishes and dreams, as my previous ones were shattered and obliterated. I need to learn what’s best for myself and how to achieve that – what does that look like? How does one go about that?

This season in my life is one for change, for hope, for revival and renewal. Having been through the torture that these past months have been, I’ve already learned a lot about what I want out of life and what is important to me. It’s not the same as what I thought was important prior to getting married. It’s much, much different. I’m different. I need to be different.

My twenty-sixth year holds a lot of uncharted territory for me, which terrifies me to some extent, but has me wide-eyed and in awe of the miracles that are upon my horizon. Year twenty-six gives me hope to figure out who I am, what I enjoy, what I love, what I need, who I need, and what I want out of my future. It’s a season of learning and adventure. It’s a freedom I never dreamed of or wanted, but a freedom I need to make the most of. I need to have fun and find my passions. I need to stay up late and eat lots of ice cream. I need to cherish the extra time with my loved ones. I need to be me, whoever that is. I need to find out.

I’m deeming this year, my year of self discovery. I’ll be pushed outside of my comfort zones, tested beyond belief, and taught about what makes me truly happy. I’ll be discovering my wants and needs out of a significant other (because yes, I do see myself married again someday…far, far away someday). I’ll be adventuring and soaring through this new found freedom. I’ll be learning so many things about myself that I never thought possible, that I never knew I hadn’t known before.

I’m 10 days in, and so far in year twenty-six, I’m comfortable in my bachelorette-pad, prettying up the space in whatever ways I want. I’m cooking up foods that meet my at-the-moment appetite. I’m taking leaps of faith. I’m loving on my family. I’m reaching out to people I’ve wanted and needed to reach out to. I’m standing my ground and not being a mat for anyone to walk over. I’m finding my voice and learning what it’s like to be heard. To want to be heard. This year, it’s all about me and my self discovery.

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