this is 26

I’ve thought a few times about what I wanted to write for this birthday post of mine today. I want it to be honest, I want it to be encouraging, & I want it to be a way to sum up who I am right now. I feel most often that’s how I like to write in general, with truth, no holding back. But I want this to be more than that. I want this to be a part of my story, but also yours. I want this to be about how I see myself, but also how I see you. So here we go, let’s dive right in. Let’s talk it all out. This is 26.


At 26, I feel more myself than I ever have before. I feel like I’ve become aware of who I am. I’ve watched & paid attention to how I react to things & situations, I’ve figured out what I need when I feel lost, & I know how I operate & what affects me & why. I’ve been learning this past year how to walk through life by understanding who I am & it’s so freeing. I don’t have to make excuses for feeling what I feel or having emotions in general, I’m allowed to have reactions & I’m allowed to need space. I’m validated in feeling all alone at times & am okay that I am not always okay. I do not by all means fully know myself at this age because I will always be changing. But I am continually discovering who I am daily, & that’s all I can ask myself to do. This is 26, recognizing & knowing myself.


At 26, I feel more confident than I ever have before. I have mentioned this before during this past year, but I am currently at my “biggest” size ever, but I have never loved myself more than I do right now. Yes, I have bad days. There are days I feel frumpy & hate every clothing item I own. There are days that I don’t feel my best. But I am me, the yesterday me, the 30 pounds lighter me, the more wrinkles than today me, the 10 years from now me, & the 2 sizes ago me. The future wife life me, & the one day mommy me. The too-filled-in-eyebrows me, the with less stretch marks me, the with more curves & tomorrow’s dirty hair me. I am the today’s hormonal acne me. My DNA did not change, I am still me, & it’s damaging to think any different. There is no guarantee that others will love you or accept you because they truthfully don’t have to. But you were given your body, it was designed specifically for you. It was not made to be picked apart, it was not made to be compared to. It was made to carry you through the everyday’s of this life. It was made to give you experience & perspective. So I challenge you to love it, respect it, treat it kindly, & to thank it for allowing you to live out all the good & all of the bad. Happiness doesn’t come from little numbers or letters attached to a tag. Confidence doesn’t come from a height or a size or an amount of mass. Everyday you have a choice to make: will you drink the poison of comparison or walk in the light of self-love? You were made with a purpose, for a purpose, & you’re purposely made to not look like anyone else. This is another freeing moment, the moment you fully love yourself at every stage in life knowing it’s still you no matter what. This is 26, loving myself.


At 26, I feel more consideration of others around me than I ever have before. Life is not about me. It’s not about nice things. It’s not about forging a pathway that only screams success for me & not others. It’s not about my strength & their weakness. It’s not about what I can get or how much money I can make or what person I can beat out or be better than. All humans bleed. We all feel pain. We all want to be loved, heard, understood, accepted, befriended, thought of, & invited sometimes. It’s not about me. I don’t want my life to be an image of greed, jealousy, or self-centeredness. I want people to look at who I am as a person & use words like selfless, giving, understanding, not so that I can be praised, but so that they can feel loved because of my actions. I have felt many times in my life that I was alone. I felt unwanted, unchosen, unloved. I know what that isolation feels like & I want to be the source of comfort for people who have felt the same way. I want to be the encouragement for when they need it. This is 26, serving others, not myself.


At 26, I have done a fair amount of living all while knowing there is still so much more to live. I have cried because there were no words & only emotion. I have felt joy inside of me because that’s what being known & loved will do to you. I have grieved a huge loss & discovered parts of myself I would have never known if I had not lived through that type of pain. I have created a dream job that I fell into, but was somehow always meant to be. I have seen the creativity inside of me come to life seemingly out of nowhere. I have woken up & felt frozen in anxiety & alone in depression. I have discovered that I am a dreamer who loves encouraging others to dream too. I have embraced the ups & downs that come with life knowing that I can’t control most things. This is 26, accepting the journey & myself.unspecified-14.jpgunspecified-15.jpg

This is 26. This is being bold & daring & fierce, & someone who will always stand up to defend what is right. This is being confident in every curve & pound that I carry. This is loving who I am, who I’ve been, & who I am becoming. This is being a woman & knowing I can do anything I put my mind & effort towards. This is knowing I have strengths & I have weaknesses because I am human & flawed. This is taking the time to be there for others when they need it & asking questions to let them know I care. This is knowing more of myself so that I can be a better person, friend, daughter, worker, partner, & sister. This is owning up to mistakes & handling the consequences. This is wanting to be me, not her, him, or them. This is living with the truth that life is unpredictable & I can’t change that. This is using my voice for the voiceless & encouraging others through words & action. This is being loving & kind & caring. This is 26, being myself.

I want to challenge you to think about these things & where you are personally in your life. I think it’s important that we all know ourselves, accept ourselves, love ourselves, be ourselves, & serve others. This is 26, but this is also 37, 52, 76, 15, 28, & 43. This is you & this is me.

Always know that you have value & worth at any age in your life & that it’s never too late or too early to start loving & accepting yourself for who you are today, right now.

– abbey kay




*brought to you by a birthday girl 










2 responses to “this is 26”

  1. rorokdesigns Avatar

    These pictures are stunning and I love this outfit with the jacket. This post was really nice to read! xx

    1. abbey kay Avatar

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you taking time to read it! – AK

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