The number on my middle school basketball uniform
The number of cousins I have on my Dad’s side of the family
The number of my mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies I can eat in one sitting
The number of times I have almost choked to death due to drinking and laughing at the same time
The number of people at my current job who think I am a strange, opinionated Mormon
The number of times I have said the word “rad” thinking I was cool but realizing soon thereafter that I was far from it
The number of times I have asked my grandma for her famous cake recipe even though I always say I will write it down and not have to ask again
The number of proposals I received daily while living in Ecuador
The number of countries I have been blessed to have traveled to in my life thus far
The number of items I still need to add to my “ 100 Things to do Before I Die” list
The number of items I have checked off of my “100 Things to do Before I Die” list
The number of years I have explored, studied, risked and lived to tell about it.
Even though I am dreading the thought of telling people I am 22 years old, I am excited for the chance I have to live another year. Who knows what it will hold? If someone would have told me when I had just turned 21 that I would live in Washington D.C., explore the dusty roads of East Africa, work for two prominent NGOs, create lasting friendships, spend the summer weekends basking on the shores of Lake Anna- If someone would have told me that in one year I would be tested and tried more then any other year in my life, that I would find strength I never thought imaginable and that I would learn one of the greatest lessons of my life which is that there is no greater love then the love of my family- I would have brushed them to the side thinking they have no idea who I am and where my life is headed.
Now, more then ever, I have realized that I just have to ride this roller coaster of life and let things happen as they are presented. Opportunities will come and opportunities will go, happiness will consume me and sadness will overtake me, my heart will grow and my heart will break; yet, somehow, I just have to stand still in the midst of this beautiful chaos. This is my life and I am excited. Another year, another chapter and I can’t wait to fill the pages.