Today I turn 28. I am not really sure where the last year has gone, I am nearly convinced that it was just last week that I was sitting in a forest celebrating turning 27. Time seems to be speeding up as I get older. Something I am sure of, however, is that 27 has been, on reflection, life defining.
I haven't done any of the monumental things that people normally associate with a life defining time. I haven't had a child, or gotten married or engaged, I haven't bought a house or moved countries, I haven't had a promotion, no one has died. But this was the year that made my life. It came together.
The few years preceding 27 were challenging for a myriad of reasons, the same reasons that make anyone's life challenging in their mid-twenties as they work it all out (if you are in your mid-twenties and have it all together I am in total awe of you). I was expected to be so grown up and sorted but I felt so unprepared - I had no clue what was expected of me, and even less clue about how to get there.
The collusion of expectations and not having a clue is a bit full on. Things implode, moments expand and hold emotions for too long, rebuilding becomes a complex and lengthy process. It was exhausting.
Entwined amongst these challenges were perfect, happy moments. Times I would never erase. Amazing friends surrounded me, patience flowed, trips were taken, conversations were had, bonds were build. Moments that make me truly thankful. Sadly, at the time, the challenges felt larger than any happiness.

27 changed everything.
27 has been the year where the happy moments feel larger than the challenges.
27 is the year when I recognised how hard I could work, and then pushed my capabilities even further in everything - my relationships, my job, my hobbies.

27 is the year that I learnt how to learn and continually develop.

27 is when bridges were built.
27 is the year I got invested in my life, the year I decided I wanted to really live it.

27 is the year I felt settled in my self.

27 is a year that made me extremely happy and thankful.

My life isn't perfect. Nobody's life is perfect. However, to me, my life is as close to perfect as I can get. 27 got me here, and that is why it was life defining.