I’ll be twenty-five in three days. When I think back to seven years ago when I graduated high school, I feel many different things. Mostly, I’m just glad I’m not that person anymore. My mental health growing up wasn’t the best, and I was very self-destructive. I had Grace when I was nineteen. Life, school, friends, everything got put on the back burner. At some point, I stopped dreaming and wanting things. My daughter just turned five, and when I look at her I can’t help but hope that she never stops dreaming. This past year has been life-changing for me. I got my medication back on track, and I’ve started to make myself a priority. Growing up has always terrified me, but it’s time to embrace it. Sometimes I forget that I am still young, and I can still have dreams. So…it’s time to dream again.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I stopped going to school a few years ago, and never found the right time to return. I couldn’t commit to it because I knew I wasn’t all in. So, I’ve bounced around jobs over the years. Mostly bartending, I’ve gotten quite good at it. Haha. I spent the last year thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. At first, I thought Vet Tech would be pretty cool. I even started paying for a course, but I’m so busy. I quickly learned I wasn’t passionate enough about it. When I quit this one job back in 2017 and got sober, I started working at a yoga studio. I had just had a year off to recuperate, and I threw myself into those free classes they gave me. I had been searching for a safe place for so long. Somewhere where I could be in tune with my mind and body, and I had finally found it. I don’t work there anymore, but I never let go of it. Yoga and meditation have become a crucial part of my daily routine.

So, I’m proud to announce that I am about to start that journey. Not only have I been trying to figure out what to do in life, but I’ve also been learning how to love myself more. Younger Madison had no sense of self-worth, and that makes me so sad. I’ve spent my whole life putting everyone else first. That ends this year. I deserve to be number one. My dreams no longer need to stand on the sidelines. I’m so much more than just a mom. I’m a sister, girlfriend (soon to be fiancé maybe?), daughter, and I have dreams. I have dreams that I have to follow. Dreams that I need to pursue, and now is the perfect time for that.

Self-love doesn’t come easy to all of us. I still don’t really know how it works, haha. I’ve spent years hating myself, and I’m starting to think that maybe I fed into my issues a little bit. Body dysmorphia peered its ugly head when I was in middle school. I remember taking the shoelaces off of my shoes and measuring the width of my thighs. For some reason, I’ve never viewed myself as beautiful. Almost twenty-five years of life, and I have yet to look at myself and think I’m beautiful. That’s no way to live. Makeup has never really been my thing and in a world full of it, I kind of stick out sometimes. When I wear makeup, I feel even more insecure. Does that make sense? I don’t want to portray myself as anything less than who I am. With that being said, there is nothing wrong with a good makeup look. I will doll up from time to time. It’s just my personal choice to not wear it except for special occasions.

2021 is MY year. I promised myself that I’d start thinking of myself more. Shit, I’m only twenty-five years old. I have DREAMS. I have aspirations. I want to do something with my life. It doesn’t matter if my dreams aren’t enough for other people, all that matters is that I love what I do. This year was a game-changer. I have begun my journey into loving myself again. Grace started Kindergarten. My brother started a new journey at a new school. And me? I’m embracing my birthday this year. There’s nothing wrong with getting older. Life only gets better from here. I’m beautiful, smart, talented, and I deserve nothing less than the best.

Here’s to being halfway to fifty.

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