When I turned twenty-three I promised that my my twenty third year would be amazing. I promised that it would be my best year yet. I learned a lot about self love and self worth the year before. I aspired to keep that momentum going. I wanted to be a forever growing and evolving sunflower. I showered myself with love and positivity which turned out to be the radiant sun I needed in life. I pushed myself for better. I tried to do things I was afraid of. I was experimenting with lipsticks. I promised nothing would hold me back from living my best life. All of that nurtured my twenty third year to the tallest, brightest, and strongest sunflower I had ever been. Cheers to that!
Of course it wasn't always easy. I tripped along the way. I fell too, but it didn't matter because I always got right back up which was important. I personally think my style improved through the confidence I began radiating because suddenly I didn't need validation from anyone or anything. I've never been one to care about those things, but I guess part of me did.


Twenty-four is a big deal to me. Just like twenty-five and so on will be a big deal to me. I had kept my birthday resolutions. I was feeling wonderful and I was beaming from all the love and care I was giving to myself. I put most of my time into my well being. People were noticing. I wanted to celebrate all that I had accomplished in just three hundred sixty-five days. 
Some time during the Spring, my friends and I booked our trip for Philadelphia. I was waiting impatiently. Then the Harry Styles concert happened. For over a month I had been reflecting on how wonderful that show was and how it is definitely a night to remember. I mean it was the best night of 2018. The next time I'd be going all out would, in fact, be my birthday. It was time to celebrate it. Off to Philly I go! There's was no stopping me, well us, as we took the city by storm.


The night before my birthday we went out to this barcade. Bars and arcades are two of my favorite things. The atmosphere in a bar is right in between the vibes at a lounge and vibes at a club. That's why bars are my favorite and the only one I'm willing to party at voluntarily. Now, when I heard the term "barcade" I thought of and old school bar decked out like Dave and Busters. My over imaginative expectation were off. It was definitely and old fashion, rustic bar. Instead of all of the newer games like Candy Crush and Halo that Dave & Busters has, the bar had more classic games like Pac-Man and the classic racing games that are found at the movie theatre. My favorite is racing. I get really serious and my face morphs due to the intense amount of concentration. My childhood came to life and I ran around playing ever game that I could. 
Somewhere along the lines were two men. One guy got the hint that it was just a girls night and we weren't interested. The other guy tried to tell stories about his life as a roadie. He hovered around and wouldn't leave. We dodged him a few times and ignored him. After awhile, he got the hint and he walked away. 
There was also the lovely bartender. She took care of us. She was really nice. She made the best Whiskey Sours and would give us water after every two drinks. She looked out for us while we were having the time of our lives. Girls must stick together. That's what I always say. If you get a bartender like that, tip them well. They care more for their customers than making quick tips. 


When I awoke the morning of my birthday, I was fine until I wasn't. One thing I didn't know until that morning is even if you drink lots of water while drinking on a night out, going to bed when you get back from your night out is a bad idea. When I went to bed I was fine. In fact, my body was telling me that I was sobering up. I'd began to feel like my normal self. I was also sleepy from all of the excitement. 
When I woke up, I got in the shower and went back to my suitcase to grab some fresh clothes to go out for the day. When I had dressed myself, I began to feel a bit queasy and dizzy. I kept telling myself that I look to cute to be sick on my birthday. Moments later my head was in a toilet and my friend was taking care of me. She's the best. It turned out that the alcohol, though I didn't consume a lot, sat in my stomach and cause me to be sick the next morning. That's when I learned that going to bed after partying and showering isn't a good idea. As TJ Detweiler said, "This womps!"
I spend half the day feeling sick and I was determined to still enjoy my day. We stayed in the hotel room until around 4 p.m. By 4, I was ready to go back out and have a wonderful and very much sober day with my amiga. The museums had closed early and there wasn't much to do other than put something in our stomachs. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. FOOD.


Located on Locust street, Little Nonna’s sits in the center of the street. It’s almost undetectable because it blends well with the rest of the buildings. Little Nonna’s is a small, beautiful restaurant that I fell in love with. When we got there, we were asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside which would be covered by a glass roof.I chose outside! Before we got there I mentioned wanting to eat outdoors even though it was raining. Off we went to our cute little table where we waited patiently for food. I ordered the spaghetti. If you’re a vegetarian like me, you can ask them for their vegetarian option which is basically Spaghetti with a deliciously thick marinara sauce. That marinara sauce is to die for. My mouth watered a lot and I wanted to lick the plate. We also ordered the garlic bread which was just as amazing. Have you ever had a meal that was so delicious you almost cried? I couldn’t eat it all because I still felt slightly sick from the night before, but I will definitely go back to Philly just for this restaurant.
The highlight of my birthday dinner is when the rain pattered on the ceiling. Everything was perfect. I was having dinner with my best friend while on vacation under a glass ceiling while I was still slightly nauseous and in love with the moments passing by. The rain got heavier. It rained so hard that the small pipes couldn’t drain all of the water. The water began to leak through the ceiling. Most people would be angry with birthday outfit getting soaked. I couldn’t help but laugh. The people next to me moved one by one. When the man who sat directly next to me moved, I got soaked. It was all in good laughs. It was the best laugh I had in the last 12 hours. They gave us free gelato which is always a plus.
If you’re ever in Philadelphia, visit Little Nonna’s and let your taste buds sing.


When we were done eating, we took our left overs and walked off the pasta. I couldn’t feel my stomach. I was beyond stuffed. We found these apartments that were all connected by these alley ways. I fell in love with the spot an had to get my photo taken. This shoot is the result of that. I danced around in circles as my friend took photos of me. She directed and guided me as the sun slowly set.
As time went on, we walked through the south side of Philly. This isn’t our first rodeo, It had definitely been awhile. We saw businesses booming. People were hanging out together. Bars were open and people were laughing about. Sex shops had people walking in and out of them as if they were having a semi annual sale. We saw new places and old places. We even passed the corner where I hopped into a puddle a few years back. With nostalgia hovering over our heads, we took in the night life that Philly offered.
We made it to the pier in a very short time. We were trying to figure out what to do and where to go. That’s when the fun took off.


There were two places we would eventually go after dinner. The first was Dave & Busters. If you don’ know, Dave & Busters is a giant arcade with a bar and restaurant. We played as many games as we could. The highlight for me was none other than Halo. Halo is an X-Box game I used to play when I was younger. Seeing that the Dave & Busters had the arcade mades us spend the rest of our coins on the game. I also love a good racing game. Need For Speed was one of my favorite games growing up. Dave & Busters has a few versions of that. The virtual bowling was fun. Candy crush gave me a headache, but I kept playing. There were a couple of other games we played. I can’t remember the names of them, but it was so much fun. We were on cloud nine as we ran like children to get to the other games before anyone else could take them.
Dave & Busters closed at midnight. I wasn’t ready to go home. The night is still young. Why not continue to enjoy myself? Next and last stop was a bar/club. It was a spacious place with multiple dance floors, to die for nachos, and a good DJ. Anyone who can mix Reggaeton into their setlist is alright with me. We ate our delicious nachos. We enjoyed the view of the bar/club’s view on the water. The night ended with me downing several pints of water. Have fun and stay hydrated. That’s what I that morning. The place closed at two in the morning, but we were out of there before then. It’s was time for some much needed rest.


When I was twenty-three I wished for happiness. At twenty-four, I will for all the same and a bit more. Happiness comes from within. Happiness can’t be achieved if my mind, body, and soul isn’t at their best. There is a delicate balance I wish to keep. For one, I’d like to wake up early and drink tea instead of coffee. I’d like to better my diet. As a vegetarian, sometimes I don’t get what I need from food which leaves me without energy at times. I want to be fit again. That’d be fun. I’d like to continue to find my way with being one with the planet and radiating positivity all around me. It’s all about equilibrium. It’s hard in a city like New York, but it’s possible. I want to follow the wind and the music wherever they take me. I want to dance the night away whether there’s music or not. I want to enjoy moments for what they are and make wishes at 11:11 twice a day. Life is short and I realized that more and more as I get older. More than ever I want to be as free as a bird.