15 years ago, I was just me and I was perfectly happy. I only had to worry about my job, my apartment, my car, my friends and school. Today, I thought about that younger version of myself while I was receiving gifts my babies made with their own hands. They had so much pride shining in their eyes. I watched my husband smile at me from across the room because he knew how happy it made me. I started thinking, "What if my life turned out different? What would it have been like if I was still her, perfectly content being solely responsible for myself?" I felt an overwhelming sense of emptiness and bewilderment. I can't fathom being content with just me, as I was 15 years ago. That girl still resides in me, no doubt, but I have expanded. Now my identity consists of 5 branches, not just one, and they all make up who I am today, my whole self -- and I am overwhelmingly thankful for every single branch, the love and experiences that have come with each of them. I spread my wings and learned how to fly, here in this home and I fiercely protect this life under those wings. I'm beyond grateful that I didn't choose to walk through life with just the one branch.