What I learnt at 21..

Yesterday I turned 22, which closed the book on what felt like the longest, and most rewarding year of my life.
For some people 21 is a huge birthday, but the year that follows is just like any other. For me, my 21st year was one of the most eventful; I became an aunt, graduated university, moved home, started full time work and was a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends. As well as all these exciting changes, I learnt a lot and became closer to the people I knew I needed in my life.
I gained a lot at 21, but I lost quite a lot too.
Some people I thought were meant to be by my side forever I now cannot even say hello to without a rush of anxiety and sadness, however this is something I have grown as a person because of, and feel no regret about.
I lost 99% of my independence that I gained at university and moving back in with my parents was hard, but its driven me to work hard and save money so I can have my own place again as soon as possible.
I moved over 300 miles away from my best friend and other close friends making me extremely lonely at times and my social life is nearly non existent, but I gained closer friendships with these people and going to visit it even more special now.
But 21 hasn’t been as much doom and gloom as it could have been.
Waking up on my 21st birthday to a text saying I was now ‘Auntie Hannah’ to one of my best friends’ newborn daughter brought me to tears, and is something I will never forget. Moving home has allowed me to see her grow and reach milestones. It still amazes me that she can walk and her smile will always brighten my day.
Moving in with my best friend for my final 2 months in Kent is something I will also never forget. Sitting round  watching crappy soaps and making fun dinners was great, and I can’t wait until I get to live with her again!
Graduating university is something that will be etched into mine and all my family’s brains forever. Walking on that stage and down the aisle in my gown and hat was so special and having my friends and family to greet me afterwards was such a great feeling, as well as sharing the day with my uni family. I am rarely proud of myself, but that day showed me how far I had come in just 3 years!
Moving home and starting full time work was an eye opener, its hard living with your parents again after 3 years on your own but it allowed me to appreciate my family more, and enjoy family time. Starting work and knowing there was no end date was daunting, and after working 7 days a week for 3 months I know I am doing what I enjoy and making something of myself. Again, another moment I am proud of myself for.
Last year I went on several holidays, 2 with my best friend who a year before I would never have seen myself jetting away with! One of these holidays was to Malta, a country I had never even considered visiting before, to be a bridesmaid for one of my closest friends from uni. The country was gorgeous and the wedding was so special. I will always cherish spending that day with my uni family and watching my friend get ready and say her vow’s – a truly special day.
My 21st year is a year I will never forget. I learned a lot of lessons and grew more as a person as I ever thought possible in just 12 months! I am currently the happiest I have ever been, and look forward to the challenges and amazing opportunities 22 will bring me.
I hope you all follow me through my 22nd year, and share with me everything life brings (a few cakes and lipsticks on the way too!).
Lots of love, Hannah xxx
*please note, the images used are ‘boring’ and I have blurred my grandparents out as I am not sure how comfortable people are with being on my blog at the moment! I rarely share pictures that need to include people, and this is my best solution. Thanks!

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