I recently had a birthday and I must confess, I am one of those women who are not accepting age gracefully. I don’t want to grow older. I am not ready to. I have even started researching wrinkles creams because I want my youth to stay. I realize that I am not old by any means, and that twenty-seven years old is still rather young. But I start to think about where I am at in my life. I am a twenty-seven year old woman who is divorced, no degree, battling health issues, and a bartender. That line of thought is just depressing. What is it about turning another year older that causes us to reevaluate our lives? Why do we only tend to remember the negative? I began that depressing line of thought yet again but I realized I am better than that. I have to remember to look at the bigger picture. I may be on a later start than some people for a career path, but I am working hard to realize my dreams. Everything I have experienced, am currently experiencing, and future experiences will only help to shape who I am as a person. Everything happens for a reason or purpose. As I have stated many times before, all my mistakes, all of my failures, and also even my victories, whether they are small or large, are all stepping stones to the next path in my life. They are paths I have paved for myself. Yes, I realize there will be more failures, more mistakes made, but isn’t that the beauty of life? We can try our hardest at whatever. If it works out, great! If not, we move on to something else that may or may not work out. But you won’t ever know if you don’t try. And there will come a time, where I will find that what I am trying is working, and that I am right where I am supposed to be. Isn’t that such a wonderful thought? So instead of dreading turning another year older, I choose to look at age with renewed hope. I can reflect on my past year and see the wonderful happiness it brought me as well as the heartaches. The accomplishments I had. The failures I had. And I can look to this next year as being even better. I can learn from the past year to help me improve upon this year. I am not naïve. I know there will be days I feel discouraged. But that’s human nature. I simply must just press forward and keep paving the path to success and know in my heart I will succeed. And know that I have already succeeded in so many other important parts of my life such as love, family, and friends. No matter where I am, I know that I have a strong circle of support around me to always cheer me on. I am lucky beyond measure. So here is to being another year older. It may be just a drop in the ocean compared to the grand scope of life but it is my drop. And my hope is that it will have a ripple effect on many.