21. The year when your age in America finally opens doors that have been closed to you for so long. You can rent a car, book vacations, buy your own drinks (finally), change your driver’s license (we all know we don’t look the same as we did when we were 16) and you can order a glass of wine at dinner. 21. The beginning of a new era, an age to be reckoned with, the end of adolescence.
This year on July 5, 2016 I turned 21 years old. Since 19 I had made it my mission to be better, do more, give more, worry and complain less, to give myself room to grow, to learn from my mistakes and to give myself grace. So at 20 I went to France and I was free to do all of this and more; I had no more excuses. I made the most genuine friends in such a short amount of time and on my birthday they showed me a reflection of what I saw in them.
I woke up that morning refreshed and not feeling any different than I did the day before, but there was something in the air, and I couldn’t wait to figure it out. I went out to an appointment and then went window shopping in the shops downtown. In my Kente dress from Africa and my braids flowing, with no makeup on I truly felt like my best self. The sun was shining and nothing could take my joy. My dear friend then took me for a day of pampering- manicures and pedicures and gifted me with a candle for a day of self care; it couldn’t get better.
I went out for margaritas with my Haitian big sisters, and my newest friends whom I met in France took me out for dinner at this new Italian place in town called the Dolce Vita. The pasta is made in house and the bread is fresh out of the oven every hour; I was overwhelmed. (I really love bread.) The love and light that my friends showed me this day was a true showcase of friendship. I am the planner, the big picture taker, the dinner party hostess, the girl who always thinks out meticulous plans for the ones I love. This was the first time that I was on the receiving end of the spectrum. I cried several times. It’s rare that I find people who really know me the way that these guys do, and for such a short time. I was touched, humbled and I felt so loved.
I gave thanks for all of my friends and the impact they have had in my life over these few years that weekend and I hope they felt the love that I have for them in every moment. I can’t wait to see what year 21 will bring. I am ready to be vulnerable and let the Light in.
Good vibes and sunshine headed your way.
P.S. Should I start an advice section? You guys should email me/ comment below on topics you want to hear about! Can’t wait! Xoxo