My 26th Birthday Recap

Dude, 26 is here and kicking into full gear!

I can’t believe year 26 is finally here. Am I still considered a mid-twenty-something, or nah? I had such a great time celebrating my birthday and this next year of life with my best girls from California.

#CaliforniaLove

They truly brought a bit of the California sunshine with them as we explored the best of ATL. We started off the weekend by getting settled into THE cutest Airbnb located in the Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood in downtown. When I say this place was gorgeous, I’m not exaggerating. It was located in the heart of downtown and was within walking distance to some of Atlanta’s best hot spots.

And boy, did we walk! 

Our location was prime. We walked from our Airbnb to Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and…oh, did I mention we were literally a two-minute walk away from Martin Luther King Jr.’s home? Needless to say, I hit my 10,000 steps goal on my Fitbit everyday, easily. 
I’m so grateful for my besties and them taking the time to come all the way out to Georgia to help me bring in my 26th year of life. Not only that, but it meant a lot to have them there to see where I’ve been calling “home” for the past few months since moving from California. Showing them around Atlanta–more like using Apple maps, and fumbling our way around the city–was so much fun and I got to explore places I’d never been to before either. They are, in fact, the best adventure partners. 

Something I realized as I entered into this new year of life was that I am so, unbelievably blessed to live the life I have. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way or to come off as a braggart. There’s just something about getting older that slowly changes your perspective on life over time. I know, I’ve only been 26 for a whole 4 days now, but still. When someone asked me, “so, does 26 feel different?” I told them no. But, now I don’t think that’s true. 

Turning another year older does have me thinking a bit differently, but I also think it’s something that’s been changing over time for a while now. For one, I have begun to realize that comparison is truly ridiculous. Comparing my gifts and talents is simply a waste of precious time that I could be using to create and grow. Secondly, I’ve learned that having a vision for my life is not only imperative, but it is so practical. It started out with having a vision for my ideal apartment. I haven’t exactly fallen in love with my current living arrangements this year. Having a vision for what I want has changed everything. But more on that later.

Lastly, I’ve learned that I may not know exactly what I’m moving towards. The picture in my head is a bit fuzzy, but at the same time, the outlines remain unchanged. I know for certain that God has me in this place, at this time, intentionally. And even though I might think that I have an idea of what’s best for me, I can be confident of this: He’s got it all figured out. And I have to say, I’m excited to see what’s in store. 


“A little celebration never hurt anyone.”

My heart is so full from all the love I received this weekend. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to start off this new year. I know with my family and girls by my side, and God firmly manning the wheel, I can conquer the world. And I intend to.

So, here’s to another year. Another year of laughter. Of growth. Another year of challenge and joy. I’ll cheers to that!

Christie Floral Embroidery Sweatshirt – $19.98

Also, it was a birthday gift, but I got a few questions about where I got my sweet, embroidered sweatshirt. You can find it at Francescas.com (+ it’s on SALE!). 

What advice do you have for a freshly minted 26-year old out to conquer the world?

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6 Comments
Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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6 Comments

  • Tracey

    Happy belated Bday love! I love what you say about growing old and feeling blessed. I feel exactly the same. Just being grateful of life and stop looking at what we don’t have. Lovely post my dear!

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Thanks so much, Tracey! Yes, what a blessing it is to grow older, wiser and have time to reflect on all the beautiful things this life has given us, thus far.

  • FEHINTOLAOGUNYE

    I love love your pictures. You have the cutest girlfriends and it’s so good to see that you all had fun. I wish you the very best of life and pray God will continue to guide you.
    My advice always remember that God has you even if you don’t know where you’re heading (as you said in your post) always remember that He knows and all you have to do is trust Him. Plus enjoy your 20s, do all the things you have on your bucket list. Don’t let people tell you what they think you should have accomplished, be comfortable and happy in your own skin and love your body.
    Happy 26 Leighann ❤
    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Ah, thank you sis! I love “He knows and all you have to do is trust Him” and your advice to “…enjoy your 20s” because often I live in a place of fear and anxiety, and it takes that joy and trust away. I will hold tightly to God, and to your advice this year. Thanks so much for reading, Fehintola ❤

  • Gawoon

    Happy Belated Birthday, Leighann!! 🙂 First of all, I love your attitude towards life! I recently turned 25 and wrote a blog post about dealing with the “quarter-life crisis.” As a sister in Christ, I’m starting to understand, more and more, what it means to let go and let God. The part where you said, “I know for certain that God has me in this place, at this time, intentionally. And even though I might think that I have an idea of what’s best for me, I can be confident of this: He’s got it all figured out” really resonated with me. Embracing the idea that God knows what’s best for me (better than I do) can be challenging at times, but in the end, it’s worth it 🙂

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Thanks so much, Gawoon! That means so much–I can’t wait to read your reflections on your 25th year of life. I’m so glad this post resonated with you, and so glad to have found another sister in Christ! Thanks so much for reading!

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 16 𝑜𝒻 31

Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 13 𝑜𝒻 31

Home. For now anyways—is Georgia. The most asked question I get lately has been “Well? Are you gonna stay out there, or move back to California?” So, to help answer anyone’s burning question about my plans for the future, here it is:

Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s just get this last year down and then talk specifics, shall we? Here’s to one of my last first days of school. 
To my fellow cohorts: May we grow. May we care for ourselves and others a little better each day. May we get up the hills to our classes in one piece #UGA
  • Wait, I can’t believe summer is over and I officially start my last year of my MSW program tomorrow! What is life? Time is flying by, and I’m just trying to soak up every moment ☀️
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 12 𝑜𝒻 31

Sunday morning. 
Mmmm, tacos 🌮 so far, I’m learning to enjoy this new life stage: also known as adulting. I’ll admit, at times it’s a little scary and a whole lot of trial and error, but I know it’s all a part of the plan—even if it sometimes feels like nothing is going according to plan 🤷🏾‍♀️ #adulting am I right? 
Faking it ‘til I make it since ‘92.

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