Today is the day that 24 years ago I entered this earth. I entered into this world, leaving the loving arms of my Father in Heaven, and traded them for the loving arms of what would be my now earthly mother and father. 24 years ago I was blessed with the name Hannah Victoria after two strong, independent women whom my parents would wish me to learn from and grow to be like. 24 years ago I began what would turn out to be the greatest journey I would ever embark on.
I’ve been pondering this post for the last few days. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write anything for my birthday, but I’ve been thinking so much about what the last 24 years has taught me and blessed me with and I couldn’t not write something about it. Not so much for you reading, but more so for me when I look back in 5 or 10 years time and can be reminded of just how blessed I have been.
I’ve been lucky to have been blessed with a loving family for the duration of my earthly life. Two parents who are strong in the gospel, who love both without judgement and without conditions, who teach through love and example and who encourage both myself and my siblings to be all we can be. I have 3 younger siblings who I absolutely adore. They are my babies and I would do and be anything for them. Ever since the days they were born I have always wanted them to know I was their protector, their best friend and I would always have their back. On both sides of parents, I have a loving network of extended family who, in their own rights, bring something special and unique to my life.
Growing up, I’ve had so many people come into my life for a time and teach me something about myself and the world we live in. I’ve had friends come and go but the lessons I’ve learnt through their friendships and the memories we have created will stay with me for the rest of my life. No one can measure the blessings of friendship. While some friendships last forever and some for a while, each is something special no matter how long it lasts. The friends I have had over my lifetime have all contributed to the person I am today in some way; throughout life they have been my second family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful for the friendships I have had, still have and will have in the future because I know that without friendship, life wouldn’t be as lovely as it is.
I’ve learnt a lot over my short lifetime. Life has a funny way of teaching you a lesson you know you need but do all you can to avoid learning. I’ve had more of these moments than I would like to admit but they have all been of benefit to me as time went on. Some of the greatest lessons I have learnt have been taught through heartache, trials and the lowest of the low times in my life. Being bullied through my primary school days by my peers because of how I looked and at times because of my personality, taught me to be strong, resilient and to laugh at myself. It taught me that the only opinion that matters was my own and the opinions of those who loved me most. Being bullied at intermediate school by teachers because I chose to not be a part of something, taught me that authority can be abused and it’s important to remember that those in positions of authority may not always be right and being confident enough to say no or to be a leader and stand out is sometimes the difference between happiness and unhappiness.
Heartbreak through lost relationships taught me that sometimes people are only in your life for the time that you need them, to teach you what they can. It taught me that with every end, comes a better beginning. It taught me to be happy with myself and not need someone or other people to validate my self esteem or worth. Heartache and sorrow through the deaths of my grandfathers taught me that life is too short to not love. It reminded me that I need to remain close to Heavenly Father and the gospel so I can see them again. It also taught me to appreciate my loved ones and the memories we can create.
Moving to another country by myself taught me that I have the power to be whoever I choose and that being myself is the only way to be. It taught me that sometimes it takes a leap of faith to get the rewards and it also taught me that running away from a problem is never the answer because at the end of the day it is always there until you have the courage to stand up to it. It also gave me some of the best friends and memories I’ve ever had in my lifetime. It restored the girl I had lost and searched so hard to find and it restored my faith in the Gospel when it had faltered for a time.
While I have had a wonderful life so far, the greatest memories and blessings thus far have been because of my sweetheart. He is the greatest achievement in my 24 years and he is the reason you’re even reading this blog. The last 2 years have been a rollercoaster of struggles and success but at the end of the day I rest assured because I know no matter what I always have him. He has taught me so much about myself and he constantly surprises me with the love and support he has for me. Of all the things I am grateful for in this short lifetime of mine, the greatest is you my love.
I am so grateful for the life I have lived so far and I look forward to the years, however long left, to come. For each of you that has played a part in my life, I thank you. For those to come, I look forward to meeting you. For my sweetheart, I look forward to an eternity of birthdays, memories and life with you. For my family, thank you for loving me through every stage of my life. And to you, who is reading, thank you for being a part of my dream.
Here’s to another 24+ years.
The birthday girl,
Mrs Yolo xoxo