21 reasons I love being 21

1. I’ve learned to love growing up.

I used to think that growing up meant a diminishing of the imagination. I used to think that growing up meant falling into some boring societal norm…being married with kids, having a boring job…and I would be stuck with it for the rest of my life.

The truth is that when you’re grown up, you can choose what you want to do, and if you want to keep your imagination and never get married, you jolly well can. You can spend your time making yourself a nicer person.

2. I’ve learned to see God as really beautiful and unique.

3. I’m in College.

I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed anything quite like I enjoy college.

4. I’m okay with it.

Hard things are going to happen to me.

5. I know what I want to do with my life.

I am going to be a missionary.

I don’t know where I’ll go. I’m okay with that.

6. I can write.

Sort of.

At least, I have written. Things.

You know.

7. Exciting things have started happening to me.

Exciting things used to never happen to me. I think maybe it was because I was afraid to talk to people. 

Now they do, sometimes.

Usually they’re too embarrassing to blog about.

8. I have learned to love music.

I’m not sure how it happened. But it did.

9. I am on depression medication.

Don’t get me wrong. I want so so so badly to be off. 


If you tell someone, “I am on depression medication,” they are much more likely to confess to you if they themselves struggle with depression.

That helps me put the world into perspective.

10: Twenty-one is my lucky number. 

It has been ever since this one day in school when I randomly started singing “twenty-one twenty-one twenty-one-one-one” to the tune of Larry the Cucumber’s song, “It’s a lip it’s a lip it’s a lip lip lip.”

The lip song was modeled after some other very popular tune that’s been around forever. I just can’t remember the name of it right now.

11. I got to open a letter to myself from when I was nineteen.

I love reading letters from myself. In that one, I asked myself specifically to not be married or engaged by the time I was twenty-one. I am not married or engaged, so my nineteen-year-old self would be happy.

12. I don’t want to buy booze.

Of course you knew that alcohol would have to fit in here someplace, didn’t you?

13. I don’t have any guy drama in my life.

Or texting drama. I like it that way. I’m not a fan of drama. Except, of course, that amazing stuff that takes place in a theater. 

14. I can re-purpose clothing.

I love this. My clothing can be unique, and very, very cheep. Often free. I am assuming this will be very handy for when I am a missionary.


Are missionaries supposed to be into fashion? It seems like they aren’t, for some reason, so maybe I will break that rule. 

Today a friend of mine, who is planning on going overseas to do VS work, said, “at first I was really excited about it, but now I’m more nervous. I always thought that VSers were going off to save the world, and I’m not sure I’m ready to save the world yet.”

15. I have lots of pretty clothes.

This may be a dumb reason. But I love fashion. And I haven’t always had lots of pretty clothes. 

16. I know how to run a cash register.

17. I have a car to drive, and I can drive it.

This makes an enormous difference in the quality of one’s life. Especially when you live way out in the middle of the country.

The added expense is a damper.

But still.

18. I like people.

19. I have a dozen princess dresses.

They make me happy. I don’t know why. Maybe because they are beautiful and completely out of style and I might wear them in heaven.

20. I can be friends with people who aren’t my age.

21. There is still time.

I look forward to getting older. The older I get, the more I will accomplish, and this little list I wrote at age 21 will pale in comparison.

Perhaps the best year of my life will be the year that I die.

That would be beautiful.

~Emily the 21-year-old

4 responses to “21 reasons I love being 21

  1. This was delightful! It made me smile and laugh, as I could relate to much of this. You are growing in understanding without losing your zest for life, even though you know there will be hard times included. I am so happy that I got to know you, friend.


  2. Happy Birthday, Emily! Hi! My name is Mary and I just read your book lately and am now following your blog. The book was very interesting to me. I never knew that much about West Nile so I looked it up. Surprisingly, some of the symptoms are the same as another rare disease, one I am very familiar with: Valley Fever. I have had that for about 4 years, along with the chronic respiratory problems I’ve had most of my life.
    Never forget God loves you and your family and friends care about you!


  3. I don’t think that not having fashion sense is a requisite for a missionary. Why wouldn’t God want you to have fashion? Look at all the fashion he put into his creations-butterflies, birds, snakes even! So Break the Mold!
    Congrats on 21 and celebrating it sensibly!


  4. I’m turning 22 in an hour..and I had to read this..adored it 🙂 Thank You.


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