Today just so happens to be my 23rd birthday!
True story I forgot about my birthday like seven times this year. The whole graduate-move-wedding-whole new life thing has had me a little distracted.
In honor of my birthday, I decided to do a birthday list. Many other bloggers I follow have done them and I find them really inspiring, so, here is my list of 23 things to do before I turn 24:
1. Run at least two 5K's.
I hate running so this will be a hard one but I have always wanted to get into the habit.
2. Dedicate myself to living healthy.
I eat very healthy usually and cook healthy meals. My favorite snacks are granola and fruit and yogurt. I've tried to go healthy before but ended up just getting unhealthier. This time is different. I want to be active and eat well. I'm not trying to lose weight--in fact I do not own a scale and have instituted a "No Scales" policy for my home. This isn't about a number. Just about me living a healthy life.
3. Learn what it really means to be a "wife."
I truly believed I would never get married ever. But I am getting married in a month and a half. I am really excited about this one, because this all came about after I had taken a full year of intentional singleness. No dating, no crushes, nothing. I wanted to learn about myself as an individual and grow in my faith. It was honestly the best thing I've ever done for myself. Don't wish away your single years, because they do incredible things for your soul and your purpose in life. My single season is over now and I am really looking forward to becoming a wife and discovering who I am in that role. Me, of course, but singleness changed me a ton, so I am excited to see what changes marriage brings about.
4. Do at least one creative project every week.
I love to create but since last winter I haven't given myself time to do it. I've missed it, so now I am going to prioritize my creative side.
5. Go on a spontaneous trip somewhere I've never been before (with Drew)
The last two summers I've done it with my mom and it's been awesome. Our first was to Portland, Maine which we planned precisely three days before leaving. Last summer we went to Highlands, North Carolina, which we picked three days before again. We spent our trips exploring the towns, going into a few shops, eating from all the local restaurants, and experiencing what the area offered. I love it. I want to do this once a year, at least.
6. Take a legit cooking class.
I LOVE to cook. Seriously. It's one of my favorite things. I want to learn techniques and ingredients and all sorts of things like that to help me hone my craft as a home chef.
7. Join a club, volunteer group, book club, Bible study, or something like it.
We know I'm not social from my story about my almost new friend. I want to push my skills and grow in this area. This is gonna be scary and hard but worth it.
8. Meet other bloggers.
Again like #7 this will be hard and scary but I want to meet people with similar interests, and I think blogging is a great outlet for me and so many others. Maybe this goal can be tied in with #5...?
9. Buy a DSLR.
I adore photography. I love art of any kind (gee, big surprise, only my entire adult life in art galleries would've been no hint at this) and I love the beauty in capturing moments. However, I am notoriously cheap and will not spend large amounts of money if I do not need to. I've wanted a DSLR for ages, for artistic and personal use, and I can't wait to cross this off!!!
10. Learn a little self-love.
I'm always very critical of myself, whether it's my performance in a certain area of life or my appearance. I am quick to note my shortcomings all too often. This year, I want to remember that God did not intend for me to spend life tearing myself down, but to live a life that reflects the beauty of His love. He thought I was worth the ultimate price, so who am I to argue with him? I'm going to get over myself and love myself more.
11. Paint something and enter it into an art show.
I'm a closet artist. I paint and draw but I don't like to display work outside of my home. I had artwork in a gallery on Gallery Row in Charleston for a time, but after that stopped displaying my work. Probably this comes from #10--being too critical. I'm going to not be afraid and I'm going to display my talent.
12. Visit the snow.
I am absolutely and completely obsessed with snow. But every year I have let one thing or another keep me from going to enjoy it. Not this year. We all need to take the time to do things or see things that bring us joy and remind us of the beauty of life, so I am going to see the snow.
13. Learn to ask for what I want/need without apologizing for it.
Sometimes when I state my needs I feel like a terrible selfish person, so I immediately follow up my request with an apology. Why should I feel bad about asking for something important to my well being? I'm not going to feel bad about being human and having needs.
14. Try some sort of crazy new food I would never think to eat ever.
My family loves food (my brother is a bit of a picky eater but likes to eat fo sho) so we are pretty open to new foodie adventures. I've been branching out my taste slowly, but this year I want to eat something totally insane that sounds wildly unappetizing but has the potential to blow my mind. Wonder if Drew will do this with me or just catch it on camera and laugh at me?
15. Watch the news more.
I love to be informed. I wanted to be a journalist for a really long time. Lately I find myself watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (how did I not watch this show for the last 23 years??) instead of the news, which means I am not as informed as I want to be.
16. Read new things.
I adore reading. I used to get grounded from books because I wasn't social. Like, at all. But I've been repeating my reads lately so I want to get some new ones in--I haven't even found the library in my new town yet...pathetic, I know.
17. Make a quilt.
I just love quilts. That's all there is to say about this one.
18. Play with my dog more.
I love my puppy (who is actually 8 but you wouldn't know it) but we don't play enough. It will be good for both of us.
19. Give to charity.
I work in nonprofit, but I don't make donations. Partly because I work in nonprofit and it's not exactly a lucrative industry. But partly because I make the assumption that annoys the heck out of me when people assume it about my organization--someone else will do it. This really isn't the case usually. Every contribution truly matters.
20. Grow this blog.
I like having a space to write and create and I would love to see it become a space where others come and chat. I love seeing the community in certain blogs...I hope to build that community here soon too.
21. Bake more.
This is just my favorite activity and I don't do it enough.
Used to love it and have gotten out of the habit. What better excuse than a birthday to start again?
23. Do things that scare me.
Half of this list are things that make me nervous or uncomfortable. But what better time than in your early twenties to start challenging yourself? I don't want to realize in ten years that I spent 33 years afraid. I'm going to do things that scare me and in ten years look back and say man, I had a great time.