**Scroll for birthday adventure pics**
Yesterday I turned 24 years old. Now usually at some point during every birthday, I have some sort of over-dramatic tears fest while I wallow in the melancholia of my passing youth and mourn over my imminent demise where I will either die old and saggy or young and untraveled.
I won't even get into the panic attack that occurred minutes before and after turning 18.
I know, it's ridiculous.
The COMPLETE truth is that I ALWAYS have a wonderful and fun-filled birthday where I am overwhelmingly reminded of the perimeter of love that the people in my life have so lavishly mortared into place.
This year followed the same model.
I began my day with your classic the-world-is-mine-and-all-must-do-as-the-Birthday-Queen-says kind of morning and somehow later ended up fully dressed in my best birthday outfit hiding in my bed under all of the blankets in the house.
I know, it's ridiculous.
I got to thinking those birthday thoughts and swallowed that hard truth: 23 is gone. 24 is here. You're getting old.
And to be honest, it felt like instead of me waiting on the next approaching year, 24 has actually been around the corner for a while waiting on me. This year of 23 has been heavy and trying with a lot more responsibility and expectations that my 23 year old self was ready for. And 23 had no choice but to pile it all on like a family of 5 packing their possessions in a tiny minivan for a very very long ride. It's been a very exciting ride with a few speeding tickets here and there, but along the way I've become less afraid of everything around me and more prepared and anxious for something new to happen. 23 took on a lot. Maybe more than a 23 typically should, but that only made me ready for this new year.
24 can make car payments. 24 can be married and create monthly meal plans. 24 can call the IRS when her refund check hasn’t come in. 24 can teach 73 kids every day and be responsible for their English Language Arts education. 24 can coordinate weddings and schedule meetings with brides. 24 can speak to crowds! 24 can co-run a non-profit and plan the next international itinerary for the next team of college students. 24 can travel across states to collect letters from groups of passionate high schoolers. 24 can write commercials and scripts for film projects. 24 can do this.
I realized this huddled under my fortress of covers, and instead of feeling scared or overwhelmed, I began to feel light and free. Maybe I was too young for these things before, but I'm not anymore. I'm 24 now, and instead of doing all these fore mentioned duties while feeling underaged and under qualified, I now feel just old enough and ready for more.