Unfortunately, sometimes I feel as though there are these invisible, but still so real pressures that tell us we have to have a number of things accomplished by a certain age. There are countless articles on the subject and as a rule-follower determined to get things right, I can fall victim thinking, “But I need to have these 30 things accomplished by the time I am 30.” Rather than be consumed by these thoughts though, I am determined to write my sometimes vague, but always personal goals down right here. That way, year by year, I can live by my very own guidebook. If you are reading this, I would encourage you to do the same! The morale simply being: you do you!
Last year, I wrote on my 26th birthday and I knew there was so much change coming and I was thrilled about it! It was the best kind of change – change that makes you stronger and a better, more loving person. Robert had recently proposed and we had already determined we would be married within a year. I wrote, “I don’t only want to endure the change and face it bravely, but embrace it wholeheartedly excited to see what the change might bring because I trust God is love and in control.”
Now, a year later, I can honestly say (que some some good old romanticism!) Robert makes me so much braver than I have ever been. I tend to shrug at societal norms and not stress about anything that won’t matter in one year. When you have someone to go home to who loves you, the smaller stuff becomes! Robert lives by a different credo than most, and I am inspired by his clear perspective and sense of direction. He also has so much respect for everyone and everything, which it such a valuable lesson for me. As I become more and more of an adult, embracing all the responsibility that comes along with it, remembering to be respectful is so important.
Together, we are also working to not take our ourselves too seriously, to have so much fun together, and plan adventures that will keep us growing and learning. Being married turns out to be even more fun than dating and we are eager to show gratefulness for every moment – big or small. In my 27th year, I hope I step out of my comfort zone and remember to cherish all the little things.
This year, I have also been learning so much from my family. My sister and her husband drove from Texas to Canada and back this past summer, camping and staying with friends along the way. After their adventurous summer, they packed up their lives and moved to Virginia to try something new they had never done before. Their sense of adventure inspires me. Much the same, my brother boarded a ship last winter and spent an entire semester at sea, experiencing the world. He made many new friends and returned with an even stronger sense of compassion and respect for our world and the people in it. My parents too, they took some big leaps professionally and are living in their dream city because they know it is where they are supposed to be. Their steadfast faith and sense of gratitude and positivity inspires everyone who knows them.
With another birthday, I look back and feel really lucky and blessed to have so many wise teachers in my life. As I look forward, I am eager to cherish life for all it is. I am going to choose every day to be grateful for the people I have met and will meet and to always show respect. Robert and I are going to have so much fun and show our love, through both small and grand gestures. We are going to take trips and learn from each other and our world.
I am sure I am going to mess up some days and choose poorly. I will pick pessimism of the worst sort! But, I hope my 27-year-old self will quickly say, “Okay, let’s not sulk about this and just make a change. Remember, you are still learning.” So, here’s to another year! Though topping getting married to my best friend might be hard to beat, I am so excited to see what comes next!