A Tribute To 23 & A Toast To 24

A Tribute To 23 & A Toast To 24 | hawk + pearl

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday, which means this is my last night as a 23-year-old.

…naturally, here I am, spending the last few hours of this birth year reflecting upon the past twelve months composed of successes, transitions, hardships, milestones, and major events.

In my 23rd year, I created some of the best memories and relationships I’ve ever had. My first and only niece Chloé was born in January and has continued to changed my life for the better ever day since. I finally launched my very own writing blog, hawk + pearl. I traveled to California for a week and met my cousin for the first time. I saw several of my favorite artists perform live at venues on both sides of the country. I began a full-time job and had been promoted twice to the top of the department in six short months. I started going to the gym again. I rekindled old friendships and made new ones with those who have become some of my closest friends.

In my 23rd year, I also endured quite possibly the most traumatic experience of my life. I had to say goodbye to one of the most special people I’ve ever had the blessing to meet, my friend and ex-boyfriend, Steve, after he passed away in June. I’ve had to completely re-adjust my way of thinking, acting, and living since that day, and now, almost five full months later, I’m still in the process of recovering and adapting to this new “normal.”

Needless to say, 2016 was one hell of a year. It was one full of experiences I will never forget and memories I will always cherish. Through it all, I’ve learned the valuable lessons of how important it is to 1) never take anything or anyone for granted and 2) always practice gratitude for the blessings in life, no matter how big or how small. Things can get crazy at times, but I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to be able to say that I have my health, my family, and my close friends beside me right now, just hours before my 24th birthday.

So this is my tribute to 23 and a toast to 24. I am looking forward to this new age and the upcoming year of 2017 in hopes of happiness, success, and even more love and incredible moments than this past year has given me. Thank you, wholeheartedly, for reading this post, for caring enough to check out my blog, and for being a part of my life. I hope you’ll continue to join me on my journey and come along for the ride to see what this next year has in store.


Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex, health, and wellness writer and the creator of hawkandpearl.com and highlyuntamed.com. You can read her content on Betches, BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog, and a bunch of other places on the internet. When she isn't writing, Morgan loves traveling, hiking, eating tacos, and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else @morganmandriota.


  1. Anthony j.mandriota

    Hi…Morgan…uncle tony is so proud of you…to think…it seemed like yesterday…i saw you a little girl…beautiful and happy…fast forward to now…all grown and still beautiful,only now…happiness comes at such a high price…as you get older the price seems to get higher…uncle tony has high hopes for you…your smart…caring…and most of all…your parents love you so much…as I do…enjoy your 24th…25th…and so on…but remember this…its not so much the great things you’ve accomplished in the past…but…the eagerness to know what more sorrow…kindness…rejection…approval…pain…and LOVE…awaits around my next corner…my next chapter.i believe in you sweetie…” HAPPY BIRTHDAY…HAPPY JOURNEY🌈💞

  2. Lori

    You are the most precious daughter anyone could ask for. I may not know what lies ahead for you, but I do know that whatever it is, you will meet it head on with strength, sincerity, and wisdom. You are a remarkable young lady, and you will continue to grow and become even more so as the years roll on. Happy 24th, my doll.

  3. Randy

    In this day of disenfranchised, depressed, and disenchanted people it’s so nice to see a family filled with such love, support and gratitude for each other. Happy happy birthday Morgan. What beautifully written thoughts and feelings. .. and to my dear old childhood friend lori… how proud you should be for raising such a wonderful family. Randy

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