Today is my birthday, YAY!! Each year around my birthday I try to look back on the previous trip around the sun. It baffles me every year how much it seems like I've grown up, yet somehow I still feel like a kid. I am 24 today and I'm pretty happy that #23 is in the past.
Don't get me wrong, 23 was a year of growth and adventure - right before my 23rd birthday I packed up my life in Colorado, quit my job and moved back in with my parents in Missouri. The day after my 23rd birthday I started my dream job (and current job). I really don't think people know how jazzed I get each morning knowing I get to trot downstairs to my office and do a job that I enjoy and fuels me up.
Shortly after starting my job I began consistently going to The Crossing and it quickly became MY church. As soon as I knew The Crossing was my church I wanted to dive in and get involved. After some trial and error I found an amazing small group of young adults in the fall and finally started making friends. I also started volunteering at youth, somehow (thanks be to God,) I was asked if I wanted to lead freshman girls and I couldn't say "yes" fast enough. Wednesday nights are the highlight of my week, every single week. Just being around these amazing young women I've learned so much about God's faithfulness and I have so much hope and peace about the generation of world changers coming up behind me (good job parents of teenagers, you guys are crushing it).
Another huge area of growth for me this year was in my blog (thanks to you... yes, you!). Its blown my mind that people care about what I write and the content I produce. My blog has been such a blessing in terms of being a creative outlet and letting me share what's on my mind with the internet. I've also gotten to meet so many boss women through this little corner of the internet. People that I only knew by their instagram handles have become true friends that I care so much for.
At 23 I also got to go to some pretty amazing places and spend the best quality time with my favorite people. There were many trips to Colorado where I got to check up on my Red Rocks Family. In July I went to San Francisco to get some love advice and be built up by my college best friend, Annelise. I finally went to L.A. to visit my brother - all the while being inspired by his hustle to relentlessly pursue his dream. In November I surprised my sweet Timerie in Seattle. That trip was just magical - onesies, football, snow and quality time. The only thing better than these trips are getting to come home to my family, my dog and my Riley.
As I sit here and write out all of the amazing things that happened at 23, I can't help but feel pretty dumb because this past year more than ever I felt so inadequate, unworthy and left behind. At any given moment at 23 I could rattle off a list of reasons why I felt like I was stuck and it felt like everyone was leaps and bounds ahead of me.
Literally everyone I knew (that I was friends with) was in a relationship, married or engaged. I was honestly bitter. At 23 I was broken up with and it seemed that everyone around me was happy and in love.
Even though my blog was growing, other people were growing more, faster and getting sponsored posts like crazy.
Then I felt like I couldn't catch a break because though I had my dream job, my friends were being promoted, moving out on their own, buying houses, going on glamorous getaways abroad and I only felt stuck, left behind.
I can't tell you exactly when I realized what I was doing, but when I would internally start throwing a fit (or sometimes outwardly too, just ask my mom) I would hear a little "ahem..." from God. He told me many times last year "stay the course, Kait, EYES ON ME."
I want to reiterate here that how I was feeling was overflow from the state of my heart and nothing that anyone else was doing to me. This was a me problem that I didn't recognize, but the more I would focus on God and less on what was going on around me the more content I was with where I was at. Not only that but then came clarity about why I am in my place.
23 for me was a year heavy with comparison and feeling unworthy or inadequate. Being on this side of it though, and hindsight always being 20-20, don't let the devil trick you into thinking you're not as good because you're in a different phase of your life than those around you or because you don't have something your friend does.
I know 23 will always hold a special place in my heart and now I feel like I'm turning 24 a little wiser and closer to God (as wise as a 24 year old can be, that is). I am so thankful for my year of adventure and trial. I am expectant of God that 24 will be a big year, He is going to move in ways this year that I've never seen before.
Thank you for being here for the last year and cheers to another trip around the sun!