Thank GOODNESS my 365 days of being 23 are over. I am not one to wish my life away, always trying to live and breathe in the moment, always taking advantage of every new opportunity thrown at me. But man is it good to be 24. This is a personal superstition, but I’ve never been a fan of odd numbered years. 13, 17, 19, etc.—those were all years where I just kind of went through the motions. Of course, I’m about 98% sure this is something that’s completely all in my head, but then again, maybe not. Needless to say, I am so excited to be the big 2*4 and get out of that whole odd numbered phase. Turning another year “younger” is a lot like New Years. You make resolutions for yourself that you swear up and down you are going to keep…you think of all the things you went through the previous year and try and pinpoint all your flaws and mistakes and vow to yourself that you will not make them again. You’re a year older now, so you’ve got that “clean slate” power to make THIS year the year of change…the year to become the person you’ve always wanted to become. This is the year to grab the bull by the horns and just go for whatever it is you’re after, however outrageous, spontaneous, or unexpected. Right?
So, 23 was a big transition phase for me. I did everything exactly by the book, in the same order as it states in the table of contents of life. Graduate college with a good degree. CHECK. Backpack (or in my case, suitcase) around Europe. CHECK. Find a job and begin the battle of Andrea vs. School Loans. CHECK. And so it goes. And so it went. Now, please don’t get me wrong, being 23 was terrific. I made plenty of new friends, experienced wonderful and spontaneous things, and was able to save money for the first time in longer than I can admit. 23 was your typical chapter in every story…it was all I expected, with few twists and surprises along the way.
Age 24. WELCOME TO THE TWIST. Ok, so that may be a little too dramatic, but the more emphasis on this the better. What I’m trying to say here is that I’ve rejected the notion of “this is the way my life is supposed to happen” and instead am now fully confident (again, maybe another over exaggeration) that I’m running full force into the “I have no clue where I will end up” phase, but simultaneously, know, at least, that I’m running in the right direction. I’ve made a vow to myself to quit this waiting game I seem to be in. Why am I waiting around for things to happen when in fact, I can so easily just make them happen myself? What am I waiting for? Previously, for some reason unbeknown to me, I pushed off doing the things I’ve always really wanted to do rather than just DOING them. The hardest part with that is not even doing the actual thing itself, but rather gathering up the energy and gusto to simply get the gears moving.
Let me help you understand where I’m coming from. I started my full time job back in January, and due to the sudden change in routine and structure my life had adopted, I practically convinced myself that I was just too tired to do anything worthwhile after work, besides eating and watching movies that is. After working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was pick up a random hobby or learn something new. It went on like this for a while, where my routine consisted of work, dinner, sleep, REPEAT. Soon enough, predictably, I felt as though I was living the life of a robot, and knew that THIS was definitely not the life I wanted to be living. In fact, it was miles away from the life I wanted. After some serious personal reflection and through a series of events, I realized that I NEEDED to find something just for myself. I needed something where I could focus my energy and creativity, outside of work. And just like that, my life changed.
So, what have I been doing that has gotten me so high and mighty? Here’s your answer:
I’ve recently taken a four week Argentina Tango class, run multiple 5K’s and 10K’s in the past few months, run consistently after work, gave Zumba a try, got back into yoga, written for my blog regularly, maintained relationships with old friends, connected with new ones, attended networking events, volunteered with various charities, attended concerts featuring music I’ve never listened to before, signed up for classes I would never normally take, helped people that have not asked for help, and so on.
What does age 24 have in store for me? I have not the slightest clue. But whatever it is, I am positively certain that I’m doing it for no one other than myself. Bring it on, 24. I’m ready for ya.
“Live, Travel, Adventure, Bless, and Don’t be Sorry” – Jack Kerouac