I turn 26 soon. And as another year of my life comes to a close, I, like many other people, use this as a time of reflection, looking back in order to move forward to become who I want to be.
To be totally candid and frank, 25 was fucking hard. It was the most difficult year of my life. And I know that what doesn’t kill you is supposed to make you stronger, but I don’t feel that way. I feel beat down and defeated. And I’m so, so tired.
But this year is also when I became the most motivated I’ve ever been. I have my dream internship. I have amazing friends and family. I have my health. And while I may not feel stronger, I know I’ve built resilience. I know I’ve grown emotionally. And that’s progress.
My 25th year of existence gave me a lot of answers, but it has also left me with plenty of question marks. It’s left me with a lot of areas of myself I know need improvement and it has shown me what I still need to work on professionally, relationship-wise, and spiritually. So instead of writing what I learned by 26, I thought it would be more beneficial to look at what I still need to work on by my next birthday, 27.
So without further ado, here are 27 things I hope to learn by 27:
1. Acceptance and peace with the fact that my life will probably never look and feel the way I thought it would.
2. Several recipes that don’t involve scrambled eggs or pasta.
3. How to have civil but productive conversations with people whom I deeply disagree with.
4. And know when to gracefully disengage.
5. What good wine actually tastes like.
6. And good coffee, while we’re at it.
8. How to date without expectation. Sometimes, it’s just a date and nothing else. And that’s okay.
9. Self-control in Target.
10. The difference between standing up for myself and going overboard with it and just being a dick (even if I was originally in the right).
11. How to sit with my pain, but not let it totally control me.
12. The proper way to talk about wine.
13. Not reacting to everything that bothers me.
14. Not caring so much about what other people think.
15. How to say “No” without giving a reason, but also without being an asshole.
16. Letting go of people who are not good for me, handling being let go of with grace and dignity as well.
17. Patience with myself when it takes me longer to do something.
18. Patience, in general, tbqh.
19. How to implement an effective savings plan that makes me feel secure.
20. The power of a deep breath.
21. Allowing myself to still feel like a worthy, flawed human being when I make mistakes.
22. Allowing myself to actually learn something from those mistakes, too, rather than let shame shadow the situation.
23. Accepting the fact that life is short and scary and uncertain and thinking of that as a good thing, rather than something to fear.
24. Understanding and appreciating the fact that life is more than a series of checkboxes.
27. Faith that things don’t really happen for a reason, but they always tend to work out in the end.