Dress  |  Victoria’s Secret (old)

Happy birthday to me! #OneYearOlder Soon I’ll be able to own a house, have an actual job, and be taken seriously as an adult. When I was younger, it seemed like each birthday was a drag—I didn’t want to grow up and have responsibilities. Man, has my perspective changed; now, I can’t wait.

I’ve done a lot of growing up in the past year. I adulted, learning how to do taxes, deal with car insurance, and take care of my living area properly. Academically, I expanded my major to include both Economics and Computer Science. Socially, I educated myself a lot more on social justice issues and learned how to diplomatically interact with all sorts of people. Emotionally, I realized that not everything was about me, that most adults (thankfully) didn’t know what they were doing all of the time either, and that it was okay to be lost once in a while.

I wasn’t grounded enough to be running a business yet, and chose to focus on my studies instead. I found out what it was like to seriously “be with” someone versus what it was like to “kind of have a thing” with them. I learned to view failures as lessons for future success rather than defeat, and to never stop going the extra mile. I stopped unhealthily competing with those I was closest to. I stayed cool in uncomfortable situations. I came to terms with myself and celebrated my strengths while accepting my limitations. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into the last year, but I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

Here’s to another year of achievement, success, and personal growth. Things may not go as planned and there will be many setbacks, but hey, that’s what life is. I look forward to the adventure!

mimi chenyao