Eighteen.

Y’all, it’s official. I’m a freaking adult. What the heck?!

I can vote, buy a lottery ticket, get a tattoo (not that I would ever do this, but like I could), and since I am currently in the land down under, I can legally drink.

TBH though, I think the thing I am most excited about is that I can sign my own consent forms. I don’t know why, especially since its never actually been troublesome to get my parents to sign for me, but I’m excited nonetheless.

Growing up in Australia, 18 was always a big deal. So when I moved to the States, and it was no where near as big of a deal over there, I was (admittedly) a bit disappointed.

However, in a whirlwind turn of events, my circumstances changed and placed me in my homeland for my 18th birthday.

Man plans his path but the Lord directs his steps, right?

All else aside, this means that I get the best of both worlds (in terms of birthdays). I mean, I just had my big Aussie 18th, and I’ll still get to have my iconic American 21st. Yeah, not so bad at all.

And yet as great as this is (which trust me, it is freaking amazing), I honestly think it would have been just as special whether it was my 18th, 19th, or 54th. What made it special to me wasn’t the huge 1 8 cake (although that was a major bonus), but it was the people I was with.

When I first moved to New York, I knew I would miss a lot of people. I mean, that’s kind of obvious. But what I didn’t expect to miss was having everyone together. I missed sharing stories at family dinners; I missed reminiscing with my friends from school; I missed watching Glee with a full on crowd of people in my living room. That’s what I missed. The moments that were bigger than just myself and one other person.

All this to say, when I was thinking of what I wanted for my birthday, I knew I didn’t want some huge, out-of-control 18th– because, to be honest, that’s just not me. At all. All I wanted was for everyone to be together. I wanted something that was bigger than me, something that I will remember as special.

So that’s exactly what I did. I had everyone (on this side of the world, at least) who has loved and supported me since day one in the same place. And as I cut my cake and said my speech, my eyes were greeted by a sight I had long missed. I had my Pop cracking jokes, Mackenzie trying to get in every picture, Diesel falling in the pool, my Grandma trying to teach me how to pop the cork off the prosecco (didn’t do so great with this one), Uncle Ian showing my friends baby pictures, and Beachy singing “Oh Madeline” as he waltzed past me. I had my family together.

I will forever remember my 18th as the most surreal birthday.

My God is a God who gives good gifts, and He has given me the greatest one in this birthday.

Thank you to those who made it what it was. I love you all beyond.

Sincerely,

M. xo.

February looks a little different on this side of the world haha!
My Pop with all his grandkids together. So so special.
The cake! Impressive, huh?
Some of my oldest friends. Felt so surreal to celebrate with them!
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