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Dear 24,

Every year they ask me if I feel different and this year, for the first time, I do. I always hoped that when I turned 24 I would look like my neighbor whom I idolized when I was little. She was probably only 18 at the time, but she gave me her hand me down clothes and they were the coolest, plus she was tall and really skinny, something I was not, and am not. But this year is still different. I have reached a point of no return.

In 73 days I am going to cross that line and nothing will ever be the same. I’m moving to Europe, on a whim and some luck, to travel and attend Grad School. Twenty-four is going to be a year of change. Most importantly, it will be self created change. In the past, as time has moved forward, changed has happened to me and it has changed me, but I can’t remember the last time I changed something. Sure, I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my furniture, but I have not made any significant life changes. I didn’t get that full time job after college, I didn’t move anywhere new, and I waited for the things I was expecting to happen, and waited, and waited. But the changes you want don’t happen when you wait.

Then at some point last year I snapped. I wanted to travel, I wanted to work, I wanted to do something of significance! I started talking about Grad School, Europe, traveling, how I could work on my way to getting there, what I had to change. I jumped on it with such gusto that suddenly everything started changing in the direction that I wanted. I got my American citizenship in November, I planned out the trip to Europe, by February my friend and I purchased our tickets for the trip, and at the beginning of March my Grad School applications started. I made more changes in half a year than in the last 17 years of my life!

Does it feel like I’m jumping out of an airplane without a parachute? Yeah, a little, but it’s really not that crazy. It’s so overpoweringly liberating that the fear I should feel, and have felt in the past, is barely traceable.

So here’s to 24 and passing the point of no return!