When I was about 10 years old, me and my grandad sat together and drew a picture of a horse. I kept that drawing and it has been hidden inside my diary in my bedside table ever since. When my grandad passed away, it quickly became my most prized possession. However, absolutely no one knew that it existed apart from me. It was my special gift from my grandad, my one remaining artefact that proved that he was really here. I treasured the fact that he had touched the paper and made the marks upon it. A work of art it was not, but still it meant more to me that anything else I have ever owned. About two years ago I showed this drawing to my boyfriend, and cried with the fear that the pen was beginning to fade, terrified of the prospect that one day I may no longer be able to make out the drawing. Unbeknownst to me, months ago Jonny snook into my room, took a photograph of the drawing and got it framed for me, meaning I never again have to worry about the picture fading. And that is just one reason why my 21st birthday was the most incredible day of my life.
I woke up on my birthday in Barcelona, and cried whilst opening my cards and presents at the realisation that I have the most considerate family and friends in the whole world. Never in a million years did I ever dream that I would receive such a huge array of the most thoughtful and sentimental gifts and gestures from the people that mean the world to me.
I know I have posted a few lifestyle posts on this theme recently, but there was no way I could allow so many people to make me feel so special after years and years of hating my birthday without letting them know how much it meant to me. From the bottom of my heart I have never ever felt so loved in my whole life. For years, I struggled to feel loved at all because I was in a place where my self confidence was so low that I struggled to accept the idea that anyone could possibly feel any differently about me than the way I felt about myself. This year has already been a huge year of change for me, and the support of my friends and family made my 21st birthday the best birthday of my life so far... and here's why:
1. My best friends are taking me to a cottage in the Lakes in June for a few nights of cuddles, wine, chats and so many happy memories. Getting to spend quality time with a group of people who I treasure so dearly is the best gift I could have ever asked for.
2. On arrival back in the UK, feeling tired and a bit sad that my amazing weekend break was over, I walked into my house to find that my mum had decorated it with snow white balloons (i.e. my favourite Disney film ever) and 21st banners, she had chilled two bottles of champagne and laid out presents and flowers. I nearly cried (again)
3. My boyfriend for making Barcelona amazing, for buying me a genuine 80s refurbished Polaroid camera, for being my best friend and most importantly for not complaining whilst I dragged him round Tiffany, Miumiu and Micheal Kors on the hunt for birthday treats.
4. My parents for being the most generous people in the world. I am so proud of how they have raised me and am so appreciative of everything they have ever done for me. The gifts and messages to me on my birthday were more amazing than I could have ever imagined and it is inconceivable how grateful I am.
I spent my 21st birthday with one of the people I love the most in the world, in one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Above that, I received gifts beyond my wildest expectations, and I feel like the luckiest, happiest and the most loved girl in the world.