Born: December 31, just short of the new year. The baby born on January 1st belonged to a nurse who worked at the hospital. She had a C-Section.

Age three. I began taking ballet classes. I remember the smell of new ballet slippers, the feel of my hair pulled back tightly in a bun and the desire I felt to be one of the older girls wearing overalls and scrunchy socks and dancing to “Born in the USA”.

Age five. There’s a big couch in my kindergarten classroom. I like to sit there and read. My teacher lets me stay longer than the other kids because she says I’m accelerated. This makes me feel special.

Age six. My sister is born. I go from being an only child to sharing a room. I love every minute of it, except when she cries. That I can do without.

Age nine. I’ve wanted to play the violin since I saw Itzhak Perlman perform on Sesame Street. I’m given the opportunity to choose an instrument in fourth grade and I don’t hesitate forΒ a second. A home video of me playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” a week after picking up the instrument shows my family trying to hide pained faces.

Age 10. My parents divorce. I break out in hives.

Age 13. I try my first drink at someone’s Bat Miztvah. It’s a Zima and it’s disgusting. I give it back after one sip.

Age 15. High school. I join the crew team and get in the best shape of my life. I meet my first boyfriend and date him until graduation. I travel to Europe.

Age 16. Playing the violin pays off. I spend my summer traveling to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and the Cook Islands with my high school’s traveling orchestra. I hold a koala, play a digeridoo, see everything from extreme poverty to extreme wealth and refuse to eat kangaroo.

Age 18. I get into all the schools I applied to, but can’t afford my first choice. I cry for two straight days until I have a revelation somewhere over the middle of the country as we fly home from a trip to California. I decide to accept the scholarship from the college in Rhode Island.

I graduate, but I do not cry.

I leave for college on my sister’s birthday. This time we all cry.

I drink too much the second week of school and find comfort in a girl who lives on my hall. We become instant friends.

Age 19. I meet a boy in a sexy blue uniform. He kisses me by the ocean. I fall in love.

Age 20. I meet a crazy/wonderful girl that tries to talk me into joining a sorority. I laugh at her.

Then I join.

Age 21. We host a huge New Year’s Eve party at the beach house I live in with the instant friend, the crazy/wonderful girl and my roommate from freshman year.

Later in the year I become severely depressed for no reason. It takes almost two months to discover I needed to switch my birth control. Within days of the switch I was back to normal.

Age 22. I graduate college. Walking across the stage is a blur. But as I step off the stage and cross through the arch, the first thing I see is Michael, arms outstretched, beaming at me. He scoops me up in a hug and my heart skips a beat.

I scan the audience for my parents and see that they are beaming as well.

Age 23. After working in a daycare for almost a year, I begin to panic and think I will be stuck there forever. I have what can only be described as a quarter-life crisis. It is not fun. While checking my email one morning, I notice a Monster ad for a publicist position. The ad mentions a love of chocolate and a sense of humor. I am late for working because I’m filling out the application and writing a cover letter.

I get the job.

Age 24. Twenty-four proves to be the best year yet. I make amazing friends who are understanding when I leave for a new job. I become part of an amazing community of bloggers who are there for the good times and the bad.

I get engaged.

I am happy.

Monday is my 25th birthday. And I know that 2008 is going to top all the rest. From kicking off the new year in Vegas, to pledging my love to Michael in October.

I couldn’t want anything more.

(Except maybe some Louboutins.)

Happy New Year to all of you!

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