Happy Birthday baby, you’ve come a long way.

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Christina Aguilera recently said it best, “I feel more comfortable in my skin being thirty, than I did when I was twenty.” I may not be thirty just yet, but this is how I feel. It’s taken me a long time to finally like me, to finally feel comfortable with myself, and to finally be happy. While most teenagers have an awkward phase around thirteen, mine spanned until my mid-twenties. It’s taken me this long and it feels great.

I think I might be the only one who is looking forward to being thirty. I don’t fret about grey hair (I’ve had one since I was born), I don’t want to get rid of wrinkles (I’m lucky to have the European gene where I don’t have any, yet), I want laugh lines and crows feet.

Looking back, I’ve been through a lot. Being overweight since I was in elementary school, I was constantly bullied for most of my life. I lost my beloved grandparents when I was young and then again a couple of years ago; my dad nearly died twice, I took time off of school and work to help take care of him. I’ve been through an eating disorder, a quarter-life crisis, through mounds of debt, and through six years of post-secondary education. I’ve been pushed around and been put through hell, but I’ve made it through with a little faith and hard work.

It almost feels like I’m a new me. I spent many years searching for the real me, but realized that I’ve been myself all a long. Now that I’m twenty-eight, I found a little more clarity. I try not to sweat the small stuff, I try to stop and smell the roses and I try to appreciate the little things in life.

Twenty-eight, you never looked so good! Here’s looking at you, kid.

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