It's my last day of being 26 and my 27th birthday is tomorrow. I guess I can really claim "late-twenties" now. I feel like I have no business being 27 and sometimes I feel like I'm still just a little kid, but then I look at all of my bills, student loans and remember that my ten year high school reunion is next year and I'm brought back to reality. I honestly am not bothered at all by getting older. I think aging is a beautiful thing because you get wiser and gain perspective, but for some reason 27 seems weird and kinda boring. It may be because I hate odd numbers and when do you hear of anyone saying...yes...that really exciting thing happened when I was 27! But I'm not going to judge this year of life that has not yet happened, but rather welcome it with open arms and hey, it could be the best year yet! 26 was a pretty good year...pretty mellow and consistent, but also stressful, hard and challenging at times. For the last couple years around my birthday I've made a list of things from the past year. So here are 26 things about my 26 year of life...
1. My nephew was born. This was a highlight since one of my greatest goals in life has always been to be an awesome aunt. The fact that Jonah Henry is the cutest, sweetest baby has made it even easier to love him. I just wish Seattle and Nashville were closer.
2. I finished my second year of grad school. I think I've lost track of how many books I've read, discussion posts I've made and pages I've written, but I've learned a lot and I've really enjoyed what I'm learning. I also have the best classmates and having the chance to be at residency in Philly with some pretty great people is always a good time!
3. I realized I can be creative. I have always thought I wasn't creative so I never really tried to be, but I'm realizing that's not true.
4. I got a new tattoo. After my first tattoo I knew I probably wanted another one, but wasn't sure if it was going to happen. I have a rule that I have to want the same tattoo for at least six months and it has to have lasting meaning...and this one met those qualifications so I figured, why not? This one hurt way more than the other, but it was worth it and I love it!
5. I've discovered new dreams and I'm excited for what the future holds.
6. I visited NYC for the first time!!! This was amazing and something I've dreamed about forever! Two of my friends and I went for just the day while we were at residency because we had a day off from class and even though it was really short it was worth it! I saw a lot of the touristy things, but I can't wait to go back sometime!
7. I was unafraid. Unafraid was my word for 2014 and there were many opportunities for me to be brave...I didn't always welcome them and it wasn't always easy, but it did end up being a year of being unafraid.
8. I saw Justin Timberlake in concert! For real, one of the best shows I've ever seen...like, seriously amazing. I may have turned into a 13 year old version of myself and freaked out a little, but I'm not even sorry about it. I also saw Usher in concert. Another incredible show! 26 saw a lot of other great shows too like Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. I also saw Wicked again and an awesome performance of Les Mis, oh and the CMT Awards, where I saw John Legend and I freaked out...oh my gosh, so many great shows in year 26!!
9. I discovered the greatness of essential oils. I'm not as much of a fanatic as some people about oils, but I do think they're beneficial and work.
10. Discovered this website. If you need a couple minutes to relax from the craziness you'll be glad you know about this now.
11. We took a family trip to Seattle and the Cascade Mountains. Leah and Jake graduated from graduate school and we made a whole trip out of it. It was so fun, so beautiful and so good to spend time with my family!
12. I jumped on the bandwagon and got hooked on the podcast Serial.
13. I've done hard work in counseling. I think being whole and healthy means taking care of ourselves emotionally and psychologically. My journey with counseling has not been easy and I've struggled through a lot of things, but the amount of growth and healing that has resulted has been worth every step.
14. Discovered and binge watched Parks and Recreation. Lots of different people have told me over the last couple years that I just had to watch this show, but I haven't until recently and I'm too embarrassed to write how many episodes I've watched. I think we can all learn a lot from Leslie Knope and some days I tell myself to channel my inner Leslie Knope when I'm feeling unmotivated or having a bad day.
15. I survived my first year of home ownership. Not gonna lie, I pray often that nothing breaks and I maybe freak out a little too much if it seems like something is breaking.
16. I attempted to create and break habits each month. This was one of those, "Oh my gosh this is a great idea and I'm going to do it every month" ideas, but it kinda fizzled out in the end. I made a list of some new habit I would create or break for each month, but between being weighed down with work, school and life and just completely forgetting I made the list, it didn't go too well. To focus on the positive, this did result in me eating healthier and making my bed every day. I can proudly say I've made my bed every day for the past six months (Mom, it only took me 27 years to do it, but aren't you proud!). I read somewhere that making your bed each morning is mentally good for you because it's one thing you've already accomplished before you have even really started your day and it's true!
17. I've realized how impulsive I can be and it's the worst.
18. You guys...I tried online dating. It's also the worst and just not for me...although very humorous and entertaining.
19. I got to witness and celebrate big moments in many good friends' lives. Babies were born, engagements and weddings happened and big life decisions were made. I love when my friends have babies and that they let me love them. One of my favorite things is celebrating big moments in my friends' lives.
20. I took a creative writing class from a community college. At the time it was probably not the wisest decision since I was already taking other grad school classes, but it fell mostly during my break in between classes and I enjoyed it so much it wasn't really like work.
21. I realized how important self-care is and that it's not selfish. I also want everyone to realize this. I think we would all be better, whole, functioning humans if we took better care of ourselves.
22. I had meetings about retirement funds and had to name beneficiaries for things. Those are weird moments and also are classified as "I guess I'm actually a grown up now" moments.
23. Marci graduated high school! I've had the honor of mentoring this lovely lady for the last couple years and it was so exciting to see her walk across that stage!
24. I made a personal strategic plan. I had to do this for a class, but it ended up being a great thing for me. It's a great way to incorporate your life's mission statement with your goals and vision.
25. Betsy and Ryan came to visit me! I love when people come to visit and it was so fun to have them here. They ran our 5K and saw the sites and it was a great time!
26. I uncovered even more of who I am. I think life is so exciting because there's always something more to learn and know about life, others and yourself. This year has been a big one for me in really uncovering who I am and who I am created to be and remembering to stay rooted in that.
26 was a pretty good year! I am always so thankful for all the things I'm able to do, but mostly for the people I get to do them with. Here's a great year of 27!