Today's my 26th birthday. A lot has changed over the past year (or few years), so I think it's worth reflecting on and sharing. Years 22-24 were pretty rough (as were 17-22, but in a different way). I was living 14 hours away from home for the first time, I couldn't figure out why I wasn't happy with my career and my fiance was diagnosed with a chronic illness. I refer to what I went through as my "quarter-life crisis," but I'm honestly thankful for it. All the anxiety, sleepless nights and introspection helped me figure out what I wanted out of life. I'm still figuring it out, but I think a major turning point was learning to stop comparing where I was in life to where others are and start carving out my own path.
I was bitter for a long time that other people my age had parents who could pay for their college education, could afford to buy a house at 23, have extravagant vacations + weddings, etc. However, I've come to terms with the fact that I won't be doing those things any time soon. I'm truly happy building my business and just having the opportunity to do what I love. Plus, not having the easiest childhood and having to work for everything has taught me invaluable lessons.
Anyway, I've accomplished a lot of great things in my 25th year and some interesting things since I've graduated from college. I like to focus on the positive, no matter how little, so some of these might seem silly. The list is in no way all-inclusive, but it's a fun way to remember this past year. So much has happened and changed.
Things I've accomplished/changed/tried in my 25th year:
- Graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Found a way to combine all of the things I love into a career: helping others, being creative, working with websites, health + wellness, marketing and writing
- Launched my coaching business I've been freelancing for many, many years, but I finally launched a business and started taking more clients.
- Tried therapy / life coaching and embraced a few self-help books I had been against it all for so long, but it's truly helped me let go of certain things in the past and really start focusing on my goals.
- Traveled many places in the US (Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, all over PA)
- Swallowed my fear of heights and climbed to the top of a lighthouse (I love lighthouses)
- Became an aunt twice!
- Got published on MindBodyGreen (many times)
- Fell in love with yoga
- Saw my favorite band (Third Eye Blind) for the 3rd time
- Spent time learning about myself + my heritage
- Finally started working out kind of consistently (I almost have abs showing...that's a big accomplishment for me)
Things I've accomplished since graduating college (in 2010):
- Had my writing published on many blogs, either under my name or as a ghost writer
- Flew in a plane for the first time, then flew all over the country many, many times
- Was in a commercial and several ad campaigns (not even embarrassed by that "Merry Christmas Ya'll" picture)
- Saved animals and volunteered with many animal organizations
- Continued my education
- Improved my diet and learned natural healing methods
- More than doubled my income (from my first "real" job)
- Moved to the beach, which was always a dream of mine
- Got engaged
To celebrate my 26th birthday, I'm trying paddle boarding for the first time, exploring a new town and spending time with friends.
Have you accomplished something you never thought you would? Brag it up in the comments! Name some fun things you've experienced this year.