At last, I have reached my 24th year!! I don't know about you, but I could not be more excited about being 24 and leaving 23 in the past. And just like the song, 24K Magic, I definitely felt as special as 24K gold this birthday.
I cannot remember the last time I had a birthday as good as this one. This past weekend has left me feeling so loved and special and just so wonderfully happy... I honestly cannot actually remember the last time I felt this happy living in the moment, and for that I am so thankful. I rang in my 24th year splurging in some of the things that make me the most happy! I road tripped with a friend down to Los Angeles, went to Universal Studios and, wearing my "It's My Birthday!" badge, let my inner little kid loose running around in Harry Potter World, getting soaked on Jurassic Park, getting scared silly in The Walking Dead haunted house, and enjoying some decadent theme park snacks. I got dressed up for some late night cheesecake and spent some wonderful time catching up with family and enjoying some homemade birthday cake. I was also lucky to have some wonderful friends who wanted to help me celebrate my birthday over good food and laughter. If this weekend is an indicator for how the rest of the year is going to go, I have to say that I am looking forward to 24 as one of my best years yet!
In all honesty, 23 was a pretty tough year for me. I mean it started with a spontaneous tattoo (which I ended up getting re-done recently) and my grandmother's funeral, followed by another spontaneous tattoo (which I may now be looking at getting re-done soon as well...) and then cascaded through some pretty big life events. It was a year of ups and downs, adventures, immense change, moments of pride, successes and triumphs, but also moments of failure and self-doubt. Overall, it was a year with plenty of self-growth, and while it was definitely a learning year, a transition year, and a very trying year, I am more than ready to leave 23 behind me. I am leaving behind the bad memories and saying my thanks to the good ones; I am taking all the lessons I learned in the last year and welcoming this next trip around the sun ready for new adventures.
So what kind of lessons have I learned this last year, you ask? Well, of the many, some involved a little self-discovery, some were practical, and some just seemed to acquire a "why didn't I figure that out sooner?!" type of reaction. In order to understand what I am talking about, I thought I would share some (let's say 23) of the lessons I learned from my 23rd year.
23 Lessons Learned From My 23rd Year
1. Adulting, REAL adulting, is hard.
2. Unpopular Opinion: I am not a dog person (I'm sorry okay, but not sorry).
3. People will ask me at the park if the baby I nanny is actually my baby and I have now reached an age where it is not at all absurd for them to think that.
4. Netflix and Wine are probably the greatest Friday night plans I could ever ask for.
5. You can never own too many coffee mugs.
6. The "spend now and figure out how to pay for it later" plan is not always the best plan for the financially in-stable.
7. Which brings me to my next lesson: credit card debt is a real thing.
8. Getting fired from a job is a rite of passage.
9. The people who truly care about you will always be there for you, and they will always make sure you know it.
10. My family is the most important thing in my life (not new or a lesson, but something I have felt reinforced to me in this past year). My family is my priority.
11. I can do almost anything by myself including travelling the world, driving cross-country, building my own furniture, and checking the oil in my car.
12. Living alone is not such the terrible idea I used to think it was, in fact, I would very much prefer it now.
13. More importantly, it is okay to be alone. It is also okay to not want to be alone.
14. Dairy and I are not the best friends I thought we were. Which reminds me: I really miss greek yogurt.
15. A good cry is just necessary sometimes.
16. Just order pad thai from the restaurant. Do not try to make it at home, it will never taste as good. Just order it from the restaurant down the street.
17. Amazon.com was the best thing ever created.
18. Being a coffee snob is just a good life skill. Speaking of which, fresh hand ground coffee is always better.
19. I am not a good baker. I am a excellent cook, but not a good baker, and that is more than okay. That is why there are bakeries!
20. Always bring a sweater (or two) anywhere you go.
21. A good carry on luggage is a life (and money) saver. Now I just have to learn how to pack a carry on...
22. There is no shame in asking for help when you need it.
23. It is okay to have absolutely no idea what it is I truly want to do with my life.
So what is next for year 24? Well, I have a lot of big things planned for myself! There are things I want to accomplish on the track this year, but more importantly there are a lot of things I want to accomplish for myself off the track. I am going to do more of what makes me really happy. That may mean spending more time with the friends who make me laugh till I cry, more beach days spent reading good books, more of wearing killer outfits that I love myself in, or more road trips to places I have not yet seen. I am going to appreciate myself more and love myself more. I also want to challenge myself more. I want to start to figure out what it is I want to do with my life, on and off the track, and see where that will lead me eventually. I know I did not make a New Years Resolution so I am going to make a "24th Year Resolution." This will be the Year of Me: the year I did more for myself and made myself proud.