22....to 23 ... Just like the birthday fairy

23 years.  For some reason, 22 still felt so small, but 23 feels real.  Sort of old (not really old, Mom+Dad, I kiidd, I kiddd).  And maybe it's just because the dust has finally settled after my move from college to home and into this sweet studio.  It feels quite finite - 23 and studioed.  And weird.  It feels weird. I'm 23.  And here I am. This is my studio + my puppy + my outrageous friends + my wonderful clients.  And here we are.  It doesn't get much more real than that.  Crazy real that every day I wake up and can't shower fast enough.  Can't get outta bed soon enough.  Mostly because I want to go to work and do what I love, a little bit because my body hurts and I'm dying in the heat.  (Just kidding: I LOVE 102 degrees!)  But really, my wheels turn for this 24/7.

I like to run a little review each birthday.  Whip out my goals list for the year.  Run through the harddrive and see what's happened.  This was the year that Leila got hit by the car and lived.  The year I still didn't get furniture for my living room or paint my stairs or tile my backsplash.  So the year my house sat dormant.  The year I watched my friends head to South Korea.  The same year that brought Emily + I together and our mentor program, Never Alone, got its start.  The year I learned to harness late nights and early mornings balanced with an afternoon nap.  Yes.  Naps are necessity.

The same year that has you crazy people reading my blog.  Bringing your babies in to show me - many months after your weddings.  Just because - you want to share your lives - and I want to connect with yours.  The year that you stop in just to retrieve your print order, but you end up rolling in laughter on the couch.  Rolling while you tell me about the 10K you placed last in, but first all at the same time.  It was hilarious.  Promise.

You invite me into your lives.  Share so much love with me and the Lizzie Loo family (mostly Leila!) and I couldn't be more appreciative, lucky, nor blessed.  To wake up and do what I love.  To be around wonderfully kind and encouraging people.

Each year I used to say when I made it I would take all the people out to dinner who made an impact on my life.  All the people who really made it possible for me to be where I am.  Who encouraged, taught, ignored my brattiness and loved on me.  As a big thank-you of sorts and an opportunity for everyone to meet the others they always hear about.  And as much as I would love to, it seems so impossible.  Overwhelming, even.  We would nearly have to call a massive town meeting, Gilmore-Girls-style, to make it possible.

Silly Elizabethism's aside - you all are great.  I appreciate your friendship, your trust + your encouragement.  If it wasn't for great friend and clients, this job; this life would be non-existent, boring, meaningless and missing out on tons of hilarious fun.

And since it doesn't seem there's time to call a town meeting, I will be taking the day off to have lunch with my main encouragement crew: my parents + crazy sisters.  Then off to the pool to lay with some friends and back to the horse show to watch my pony trot around with my sister at the reins.

Moral of the story:  I love you all.  Thanks!  And...the birthday fairies visited....and Leila was a little upset.

Elizabeth Sharrett