This past year has been a full one, with no shortage of challenges, triumphs, surprises and lessons. This year is also the year where I feel that I have finally found myself, I experienced an “a-ha” moment that has led to growth and personal development. I can truly say that over this past year, I have found out who I really am. I am definitely not the girl you used to know anymore, and I’m proud of that.

After some traumatic setbacks earlier in the year, I was challenged to see who I was destined to become.

In the past, birthdays have been full of tears (and mild depression), probably because every year I never felt whole, or confident that I had accomplished much over time. No tears this year. Although I will celebrate quietly with friends and family, I am happy to share that I feel so fulfilled and surrounded by love. I have finally seen what true happiness means and have learned about what really matters in life and so far 25 has been my best year ever! Why?

I have not only left my previous career to follow my heart and start my own business, but I am free to make my own decisions and choose to do what I believe is right for me and my family—the ultimate freedom.

I connected with my spiritual side and have gotten so close to God that I have a sense of peace and prosperity within, and realize all there is to be thankful for. I wake up with a gratitude and an eagerness for the day.

After these years, I feel that I finally have true friendships and real relationships with people. Im allowing myself to be open, vulnerable and genuine, to be thoughtful, helpful and selfless. I have always been a bit of an introvert but now find myself easy going and ready to take risks.

This year, my marriage reached the “seven year itch”and although some days were tough, we surpassed all conflicts and came out higher and stronger, united. I am now more in love with my husband than I have ever been in my entire life and I’m able to see that what we have accomplished is so special.

I’ve honed a discipline of changing my lifestyle and how to be a homemaker, which I never was before. Taking the extra step to grocery shop, to cook and wash, to wake up early and exercise everyday, sometimes even twice a day.

Lastly, to finally be free from strife, to be loving and kind to others has been a process for me, quite honestly. I’m now able to appreciate my life on earth and make every minute count. This has been a challenging, crazy year, but the best growing experience and truly, the best year yet!

Cheers to 25 and what’s to come.