I’ve always been a birthday person. How could you not be? It’s a celebration of being alive. And for 24 hours, it’s solely about you.
But, when I think about turning 23 it seems just as bland as it sounds. For the first time, I can’t for the life of me find a reason to get excited for this day.
With any turn of age though, you have the opportunity to reflect on what you learned throughout the year prior. This past year in particular was challenging, required a lot of courage, and taught me more than I ever anticipated.
So maybe 23 is nothing special, but it’s not just about the number. It’s what I’ve realized along the way here that really counts:
1. Appreciate your family. You can’t choose who they are—they are dysfunctional, they give you premature gray hair, but you love them anyway
2. Crying doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human
3. Eating salad is great, but don’t forget to indulge in fried foods every once in a while. The world will keep turning, I promise.
4. You are more capable than you think you are
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff
6. There is no off switch for feelings. Stop trying to look for it
7. Find your dream, and don’t give up. It might take more time than you want—accept it and keep fighting
8. Remember, what people put on social media doesn’t paint the picture of what their lives are actually like behind closed doors
9. Time. We’ll never have enough of it, so make sure it’s being spent wisely
10. When people make you laugh until your stomach hurts, do everything you can to keep them around.
11. Turn off Netflix and turn on a Ted Talk. Or pick up a book. Anything that isn’t mindless.
12. ‘Adulting’ is scary. But it’s not a death sentence—there’s life after those 4+ years at college
13. It’s great to help others and be there for them, just make sure you’re doing the same for yourself too every once in a while
14. Have faith, even when it seems like there is no faith to be had
15. It’s exciting to have more than $2.68 in your bank account, but don’t overbuy things because of this.
16. Be unapologetically yourself—always.
17. Where there is coffee, there is life
18. You might’ve been ‘cool’ in high school or college, but in the real world no one cares. As the number dwindles, appreciate the ones who are still standing next to you.
19. Take a walk, or go for a run—any form of exercise will bring you back to center
20. Not everyone thinks the same way you do, and not everyone will have the same heart as you
21. Be honest. The truth can sometimes hurt, but what hurts more is being in the dark about something
22. If you find that you are losing yourself, re-evaluate.
23. What is meant to be will always be.
Another year down with plenty more to go. Even though 23 might just be–well, 23– it’s nevertheless one to enjoy every second of.
And that’s exactly what I plan to do.