Lately I’ve been feeling this strange reverse nostalgia, where I sense younger me peeking over my shoulder approvingly. I’ve been realizing my dreams coming true, when I’m very still, I remember how deeply my young heart ached for so many things that are now a reality in my life. My longing for independence, to move away from home, to make it on my own, my girlish wishes for love and romance. Nothing has come about exactly as I’d dreamed, love isn’t all roses and wine, and being independent is often a lonely road; but when I was standing under a willow tree with my fiancé of an hour, I know young Caitlin was smiling so wide. When I look around my 800 square foot apartment, a place I come home to without fear of conflict or abuse, I know every hard decision has been worth it. Having reached so many goals, and having had so many little fantasies come to life, I’m encouraged to continue pushing towards my goals. The satisfaction of completing them and looking back, only then realizing the depth of that hope, it’s incredible. There is nothing better than being proud of yourself, I hope to impress the mess out of myself in the coming years as I shape my career, and begin my marriage.