Another year, another dozen reasons to be grateful.

So, today is my birthday.ย 

Photo on 10-10-14 at 4.54 PM

If you didn’t already know I’m ridiculously young by the standards of some folk, now you do.

Today I’m 21 years old (finally).

And I’m not going to write a post about how I’m finally going to be taken seriously and how this is great, or how I can get carded and pass the test, and how I can now drink in any continent not just South America or Europe… yada yada yada…but why this year, this age, and the past few days have given me another slew of reasons to be grateful to be alive.

First let me start off by being honest.

I’ve been in a funk since September. I haven’t been me. And I’m still recovering.

I feel like you should know this, as my readers, both strangers and friends alike, to realize that no I don’t have it all together, and that it if you think it’s not okay not to be perfect, then I need to re-evaluate that belief, because nobody is perfect. Nobody.

There are several reasons both external and internal as to why this funk began and why it has lasted so long. But I truly think and believe that this week, it ended, or that it will end by the end of this week… I can feel the clouds surrounding my heart and mind evaporating just as the leaves surrounding me are starting to change and fall and my favorite season is making its presence known.

You see, I’ve never been too excited about birthdays. I always expect this great feeling to come across when I get up in the morning. But it never happens. I’m not saying it will this year either, chances are I’ll be exhausted because I stayed up doing some assignment/ rang in my birthday with my first official drink as a 21 year old (responsibly of course) and had practice before that, work before that, class before that, and an event on top of it all. And that’s not counting the emotions.

But like I said, this post isn’t about how awesome turning 21 is going to be… it’s about gratitude, and how turning yet another year older is a wonderful beautiful thing.

I realized AGAIN that turning a year older…. is a blessing

It sounds silly but I think we forget how big of a blessing it is to turn a year older. Not everyone gets to this point.

I think of one of my closest friends from growing up, Jacqueeia Brown. We share the same birthday. 15 minutes apart, completely different locations, but still, we bonded over that. She died on July 5th, 2010 of Sickle Cell Anemia, and I can’t help but wish every year on our birthday that she could be here to celebrate this huge blessing. Our birthday hasn’t been the same after that.

It sounds awful but I think we take for granted, the people that make us feel good or want to spend time with us especially on our birthdays. Like our parents.. or friends and other family members… My dad is really salty (translation: bitter) about me not wanting to party it up with him this weekend, he feels that I need do that with him and my mom. Now I will digress and not get into why I disagree with that, but I can’t sit here and lie and say I feel so loved…so loved and appreciative of the fact that he cares that much. That my parents care that much. Another blessing.

I will not blame it on the alcohol (sorry T-Pain)

This weekend, I know I’ll be happy. I know that it will be fun, and that I will celebrate and have a good time.

I can’t help but feel like it’s unfair to say that it’ll be because of the alcohol. I think that’s jipping my friends and family out of the support, and love they’re showing me and continue to show me every day.

It’s not fair, to just be excited about this birthday the big 21- because I can now pay 10 dollars to get into a club, and another 10 or 13 for some liquid that has the capability of making me clumsier than I already am, goofier than I already am, and/or make me sick if i’m not careful.

No, I’m excited to be 21 because I am now 21. I have lived, on this earth for 21 years, and all the good, bad, wonderful, ugly, beautiful, stressful, peaceful, ridiculous, painful, exhilarating moments of all of those years with the help of family, friends, teachers, and role models, have made me into the young woman I am today, and have me on track to be the woman I one day hope to become.

So here’s to another year of life, Thank you God. And Happy Birthday Jacqueeia, miss you every sister-friend.

Much Love,



7 thoughts on “Another year, another dozen reasons to be grateful.

  1. Brosephus says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of my 21st birthday this year. I spent a lot of time reflecting on people who were no longer here with me to celebrate. I also took the time to acknowledge the blessing of making it through 4 decades in America as a Black man.

    Don’t feel guilty about your feelings. Celebrate the knowledge that you can still feel, no matter the emotion.


    • Stephanie Watkins-Cruz says:

      Thank you!!

      That is an amazing way to look at life and this form of celebration. Props to you on that one.

      It is definitely a challenge to own all the emotions I feel but I’m working on it, they’re what make me, me you know?

      Appreciate the support! Love your blog.


      • Brosephus says:

        I know all about the roller coaster of emotions from that age. It’s amazing to see the challenges that you face compared to what I had to deal with. Society has become much more complex now than it was then, and I think that will make your generation so much better with problem solving than we are.

        I don’t always comment, but I enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good writing, and thanks for the compliment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s