New Year (noun): The time of year when almost everyone starts to reminisce over the past twelve months and then consequently begins to plan what they [intend] to change in the coming twelve.
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve taken even 5 minutes to just sit and appreciate everything that’s happened in my life this year. The growth and change. Successes and failures. Challenges and victories. Beauty and pain. Hardships and blessings. Lots and lots of blessings.
In the course of a single year, I … graduated college (!), moved three times, left behind everything I’ve ever known to follow a crazy (but exciting) dream in New York (the most beautiful city on Earth), found & started my dream job, started paying my own rent, student loan bills, and all that other “grown up” stuff, turned 21 (yes, that finally happened), ran my first 5k & 10k, and opened my heart to explore why I struggle so much with letting people in and being single.
It’s been a pretty insane year.
And for that, I’m so insanely grateful.
On the flip side, I’m not a huge fan of resolutions. Mainly because I don’t appreciate the extra morning crowd at the gym when January hits. (Sorry, I’m one of those people). But also because I’m not a huge fan of the idea that we can suddenly change ourselves based on short-term promises. Most of which we know we never really intend to keep.
So instead, I build bucket lists. Instead of telling myself what I need to change, or what I need to take away, I prefer challenging myself to make life a little more full. Because at the end of the day, it’s the things we do that we remember, not the things we take away.
So here it is. In honor of turning twenty-one this year, this is my “Twenty One Things To Do In 2014” list. I put a lot of thought into this list. I labored over every item & really built something I wanted to be proud of. Things that would definitely challenge me and push me outside my comfort zone, but also things that I know will be good for my soul.
And hopefully, things that I’ll be able to cross off by 2015.
TWENTY ONE THINGS TO DO IN 2014
- Run & (most importantly) finish my first half marathon. I’m signed up for the Nike Women’s Half in DC on April 27, so stay tuned for many posts where I deal externally with training issues and stress (you’re excited, I know).
Travel to a city I’ve never been before. Preferably, somewhere on the East Coast later this summer. Or the west coast, like California. Road trip, alone or with friends. (May coincide with #2 above).
- Take a cooking class! The more “local” the better. (Signed up! Happening in January 2015!!!)
Run the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve walked it plenty of times, but have never run the entire length.
- Eat at the Boathouse in Central Park. This one’s been on the list since I fell in love with the movie 27 Dresses years ago.
Start writing a book. About what, I have no clue. Hoping it just sort of “comes to me” as most all great ideas do.
- Go wine/beer tasting, or both. The perks of finally being 21 for an entire year.
- Go on (at least) ten dates. May seem funny to some, but a serious challenge for me. I assure you. (6/10 done!)
- Buy my first pair of expensive shoes. Something I haven’t done yet, but need to do.
Use all of my vacation/personal days. Will definitely be a challenge for someone who hates stepping away from responsibility, but a huge part of learning that work shouldn’t consume one’s entire life. Learn something new.
- Take a winter ski trip! Bonus points if it’s somewhere out west. But upstate New York or Maine would also be wonderful.
- Read the Bible from start to finish. I’ve read most of it in pieces and parts, but never the entire thing starting from Genesis and ending in Revelation.
- Go to an NFL football game! Also something I’ve never done before.
Learn to say “I love you” in at least 5 different languages. And say it more often to my relatives/close friends.
- Leave a heartfelt love letter somewhere in New York. And hope that it finds the right person, at exactly the right time. Because we all need a little more love in our lives.
- Go to a concert in Madison Square Garden. Concerts aren’t really my thing, but something I’ve wanted to do since the first time I watched How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. (Happening in two weeks!)
Picnic with friends in Central Park. Something I STILL haven’t done but have been dying to do since the day I moved here.
- Find (and get involved) in a church small group. I still feel like I’m sort of “drifting,” but I’m bound and determined to get more “settled” this year and start developing community.
Start a homemade, hand-written recipe book. Ready for food stains, lots of love and plenty of good memories.
There it is. My promises, challenges, and adventures that await in the next twelve months. And along with that, I’m sure a lot more growth and pain and excitement and change.
My goodness, it’s great to be twenty one.
What’s on your bucket list for 2014?