Birthdays (n.) The anniversary of the day on which a person was born, typically treated as an occasion for celebration and the giving of gifts.

“There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why.” - William Barclay

Dear younger Tanya,

Happy 24th birthday! At the age of 12 you had just come home from a bad day at school and you were wishing that everything would just end. Coincidentally, 12 years later you’re alive, happy, and have a lot more going for you than you thought you would. Every now and then you hit a low point, but when you get back to the high you’re incredibly unstoppable. As I reflect on the past it feels bittersweet we’ve been through some stuff, but some of the greatest people have. There are goals we’ve met and some we haven’t just yet, so stay tuned. Something hit me a little over a month ago and I felt like it needed to be shared. When you were 8, you lost somebody so important to you. Somebody who said she didn’t have to worry about you growing up because she saw you in her dream and said, “your life is going to be filled with nothing, but bountiful blessings.” So Grandma Carmen you were right. Ever since I hit adulthood I’ve had nothing, but life changing experiences. I lost some friends, but gained a few great ones. I got proposed to, but it made me realize that I deserve more than what I had. I got diagnosed with an incurable chronic illness, but it’s taught me to revel in the beauty of the smallest things. Most of all my plans got a little messed up, but thanks to that I found out who I am and that’s the biggest reward. In this moment I am the happiest that I have ever been and I owe it to all of the downfalls and my guardian angel. Little Tanya we’re going to be just fine and we’re going to have the best time growing up. Even though I still believe this is one of the worst things to say on someone’s birthday, but here’s to 24 more bountifully blessing years!

Happy Birthday,

Older Tanya

P.S. We’re older, but we don’t look like it. (;