25th Birthday Reflection

Alexis Puebla

Well… it’s my birthday! If you’re in my direct circle then I sincerely apologize for being THAT person recently, reminding anyone and everyone that it was my *birthday week.* I can’t help it! Birthdays have been my favorite thing since I was a little girl, and I’ll never shy away from a reason to celebrate this beautiful life.

I discovered my love to write in high school. For my 15th birthday (10 years ago!!!), all I wanted was a computer. I was so ecstatic to find that my wish had been granted (see below) and not only did I get a brand new laptop, but it was PINK for crying out loud!! God bless my parents. For those of you wondering, here is photographic evidence that I have not changed much in 10 years.

From that birthday on, I’ve fallen in love with the way my heart and mind can intertwine with the simple taps of my keyboard. I’ve gone through a few laptops since that birthday, but my love affair with writing has only grown stronger. Since turning 15, I’ve made it my tradition to write a ‘Birthday Reflection’ every March 8th, sharing what I’ve learned, how I’ve grown, and what I hope to accomplish in this next year of life. These usually live in a folder on my computer that is never to be seen by the real world, but this year I thought I’d share my Birthday Reflection.

Why not, right?!

March 8th, 2019 | My 25th Birthday Reflection

I hate to say this, but 24—I’m not that sad to see you go.

The growth I encountered during this past year is out of this world. I feel overwhelmed at where I was on March 8th, 2018. If you forgot, here’s where we were:

You were in your first of two apartments in Des Moines, getting ready to go to a Demi Lovato concert in Chicago with your friends (okay that part was pretty awesome). You hated your job, you felt uninspired, you didn’t like living in Des Moines, and you had no direction.

Flash forward a year, and look how far we’ve come. Not only are you in the town that you love, but you’re at a brand new job that you couldn’t be happier with. You’ve found your niche with your podcast and you’ve grown even more into your own skin—loving and accepting that your strengths and weaknesses and every quirk in-between is simply fabulous.

This year, I’m spilling over with gratitude. I don’t feel deserving of being in this happy place, a state of mind that seemed so far from where I was a year ago. Was there struggle to get here? Of course. Were there tears in the process? Obviously. (Have you met me?!) But there was also strength and determination and so much listening to your gut. I’m proud of where I’ve been this past year, but I’m even more excited about what’s to come.

As I’m now halfway through my twenties, I can’t help but have a little flutter of fear swim around my insides. Have I accomplished enough? Will I look back one day and wish I lived more boldly? Am I in the very midst of my prime and I don’t even know it?

I guess I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I can’t really control them either. This past year is said and done, and the only thing I can control is how I walk into this new year—donning pink sparkly high heels of course.

25 will be the year of confidence. I think the first half of my twenties was built on the belief that I don’t know what I’m doing. I still believe that no one really knows what they’re doing in life, but I think I let the fact that I was young and naive and inexperienced dictate the way I approached new situations.

“Oh, I’m not qualified for that, I don’t have the skillset.”

“Me? No no, I’m not all that smart, I’m just good at faking it!”

“I could never start a podcast, because no one would listen to it.”

“Who even cares what I have to say—it’s nothing new or interesting.”

This year, I’m going to be confident in my ability to be unapologetically myself. I love me! I want to share that contagious energy with those around me, not hide it. I want to continue being the best version of myself with no fear of underperforming or under-delivering. Am I going to excel at everything I try? Absolutely not! But will I hold myself back from giving it a try? Not this year.

25 will be the year of believing in exactly where I’m supposed to be. I left Iowa City so abruptly after being laid off from my first job and I was initially very open to my ‘new life’ in Des Moines, but my heart knew it always wanted to get back to this town I called home.

If you knew the number of nights I spent crying during my drive home from work, crying while cooking dinner, crying while lying on the bathroom floor pleading with everyone around me that this wasn’t where I was supposed to be… you’d be blown away! Just ask my poor mother who was on the other end of those phone calls, having to console and inspire and guide me on the daily. It wasn’t my best look, okay?!

I would’ve never thought circumstances that were way out of my control would ultimately lead me back to the town I loved, comfortably nestled in the exact apartment building I lived in just 2 years ago. It’s crazy! I spent all that time stressing and worrying about my situation when my time to come home was in the works all along.

I’m the biggest believer in things happening to us for a reason, often to prepare us for something that’s soon to come. The personal growth I encountered while being 2 hours away from my boyfriend living in a town I didn’t love paired with the professional growth I found being in jobs I wasn’t passionate about, forcing me to get outside of my comfort zone is uncanny! I feel so much more equipped to be a well-rounded person having struggled, been challenged, and put in sooo many uncomfy situations. Not only am I viewing the world with a more multifaceted lense now, but I’m also so much more appreciative of the little things. Eating dinner on weeknights with Bobby is so special. Being at a job that has me on a team of creatives who are all working toward a common goal together is everything I was looking for. My cup runneth over!

Needless to say, here we are on the other side of all that struggle more fabulous than ever. Maybe this year when challenges arise, we can look back to this moment when I’m telling you that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be! Timing is everything, and just because things may not unfold in the strict time frame we drew up in our mind does not mean that that dream or milestone or accomplishment won’t happen. You’re in the exact right place that you’re supposed to be, and the good things will come riiiiight when they’re supposed to. 24 was living proof!

25 will be the year of trusting God fully. As all my other birthday reflections state—God is so good. He continues to provide for me in ways that I feel so undeserving of, and yet here I am typing with tears of joy spilling out of my eyes looking at how beautiful His plan is for me.

Let’s be honest: I don’t know where I’m going, but I know that no matter where life takes me God will never fail me. He continues to hear the prayers I barely know how to say, bringing sparkling lights into my path when I need them most. I am eternally grateful.

So… here’s to making the second half of my twenties just as fun, energizing, exciting, and impactful as the first half. Cheers to the highs and lows of this past year—both in my experiences and in the additions to my shoe collection.

Let’s go change the world now, shall we?

All my love,