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August 23rd. Year 9

Today is August 23, 2019. Today marks 9 years strong.

I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to say about Year 9. In the past, I recounted the biggest life lessons I've taken away from another year of life. Last year, I talked about Year 8 as a whole & what the year meant to me. I guess for Year 9, I'd like to do a combination of the two.

I've been thinking of the right word to describe this year. A word that could truly incapsulate what I felt this year did or brought me. & all I keep thinking is


Year 9 was a year of Trust.

In the unknown. In the process.

In my abilities. In God.

Admittedly, I had many moments of believing I knew what was best for me & that I knew when things should be happening. Which, of course, resulted in equally as many moments of frustration because God said, "No, not yet. Be patient." It's easy to accept blessings when they're instant. It's harder to admit that God is right in His timing. I mean, who likes to be wrong? But even in those rejections, those "not yet's," those "be patient's," I could feel His energy working, & I knew that whatever He had planned was far bigger than my mind would allow me to grasp.

I was talking to my brother the other day, nothing out of the ordinary. We just finished telling each other how proud we were of our siblings' success. Our older sister secured a new position in her field, he just released a project that he spent all summer creating, & I signed a deal with a well-known company. We were both just in awe of how amazing God is to the three of us & that He continues to bless us. I said to him, "& to think. I would've missed 9 years of this."

That thought hits me at random times. I'll be at Trader Joe's or laughing at a Girl's Night or sitting on the coach watching a movie with my dad on Friday night, & a wave of gratitude washes over me. I just wish I could explain to you how grateful I am that I was given a second chance at life. No matter how low the lows have been, I am happy that I was able to hear the whispers that told me to keep holding on.

I understand that life is hard. I understand that there are moments where it feels like we cannot get through. I understand what it feels like to be on your knees, begging for your mind to stop moving so quickly, for the noise to quiet.

I get it. I truly, wholeheartedly get it.

Which is why I hold August 23rd so close to my heart every single year. I am a work in progress. I'm a long way from fully becoming the woman I want to become. But, I am proud and more importantly thankful for the 14 year old girl who asked for help in order to become the woman she wants to become.

So, Year 9 was a year of Trust. & Trust, I did. & Trust I will continue to do. Loving life comes effortlessly for me because I have been close enough to death to know that tomorrow is not promised. My journey is not over just yet, my purpose is in the process of being fulfilled, & I am Trusting that I'm being led toward nothing but greatness.

To all the humans who have loved me then & love me now, the ones who have been with me since my first Life Anniversary & the ones who I have met along the way, to the ones that I've exchanged long conversations with & the ones who I've talked to in passing, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being with me, for sharing space with me, for being you! I am honest in saying that you have touched my life, even if it was but a second. & always, thank you to 14 year old me for knowing in your heart that there is light in the midst of all the darkness. & to present day me, girllllll! Keep on keeping on--you are exactly where you need to be. I love you as much as I love breathing & living.

Keep choosing life. You matter.

Nine years strong and still counting💪🏽💜 ✨

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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