A birthday cake. A blue dress. A hint of lipstick. Ribbons and tape. Ice cream.

Surrounded by my immediate family, I opened presents and ate cake. I felt very grownup in my heels with my hair piled on top of my head, letting only one curl escape.

Of course, I was far from grown up. Pretty and innocent and naive. 

My whole life was ahead of me. In some ways, it still is.

I thought I was as happy as I could be. Loved, secure, full of cake. Life could not get better than this.

At that age, I was hoping for a beautiful future with an amazing spouse, a job, a dream, and happiness. Only 7 years later, I am well on my way. I am happy. I am fueled by amazing dreams. I’m working enough to have savings. And I have a man who I love and who loves me.

I wonder how beautiful my life will be seven years from now. I cannot imagine that it can get better than this. But I’ve thought that before.