Nope, not the Taylor Swift song. (No, thank you.)
Yesterday was my 22nd birthday.
It was a pretty low-key “event”, but honestly, that’s ok. It seems to me that the older one gets, the less spectacular one’s birthday is, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. I still had fun, I so appreciated all of the lovely cards I got in the mail, the facebook notes, the birthday wishes from my students, the quiet day I spent with my parents, and the fact that everyone is nicer to me than usual. 😉 I just think it’s interesting that the older I get, the more like a regular ol’ day my birthdays become.
It’s with that in mind that I’ve decided to turn the day into a retrospective one, one in which I look at all that I’ve done over the last twenty-two years of my life, and celebrate the person I’ve become.
Yep, I’m totally tooting my own horn.
But don’t you think that’s a good thing to do sometimes?
I’ve done, learned, seen, and experienced so far…
1. I was born into the most amazing family. The older I get and the more people I meet, the more concrete and factual that statement becomes to me.
2. I will never, ever be too old for Disney movies. And music.
3. It’s important, though very difficult, to appreciate every sunrise and sunset, and take a least a moment to reflect on each day. They go by so quickly. (I know some people might roll their eyes at that statement coming from a person of my age, but I strongly believe it.)
4. Become friends with good people, and stay in touch. My friends have made my life so much better, and it’s nice to always have someone to talk to.
5. If I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, I stop doing it. Whether it’s a simple activity, a book that I’m reading, or even a job, life goes by too quickly to be doing something I don’t like. (Of course, there are some things I can’t just up and drop, but you know what I mean.)
6. Sleeping in on a Sunday is one of the greatest things.
7. I try to take people of every age seriously. The kids I babysit have said some of the most profound, brilliant things, as have my grandparents.
8. The bond between me and my brother has morphed over the years, but I’ll always remember the days we spent running around in our backyard, video taping “nature shows”. Those are some of my favorite memories. I think it’s so important to work to keep that bond strong, no matter how much it changes.
9. I think 9th birthdays are really important. It’s the last time in a person’s life they’re ever be in single-digits. We cross a big threshold once we reach age 10.
10. Religion is something that’s different to everyone, and as such, I think it’s important for people to figure out what it means individually. I also think this process can take a long time, and in my opinion, that’s ok. Why rush something like that?
11. Even though I may be too old to dress up for Halloween, I will never be too old to gorge myself on Halloween candy.
12. When I was younger, I was often called a bookworm, teacher’s pet, or know-it-all. It took me a few years to realize that was exactly the person I wanted to be, and still do. Sometimes it’s best to turn “negative” terms into positive ones.
13. It’s so easy to stereotype people, but so infuriating when you’re the stereotyped. I remember being a preteen/teenager and getting so frustrated that my label was the “unruly, disrespectful teen”. I’m still guilty of labeling people, but remembering how it feels helps me break out of that.
14. Speaking of birthdays, the older I get, the more I like to give instead of receive. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, but I just love giving something to someone else. Even if it makes their day just slightly better, I’m glad. 🙂
15. Fact: sprinkles elevate any breakfast or dessert.
16. On the eve of my 16th birthday, I had a huge party in my parent’s basement. (They were upstairs the whole time – I’m not that kind of kid. 🙂 ) Dozens of my friends, close and not very close, showed up. The following day, both sides of my family came over for a big party. That was one of the best birthdays ever. I couldn’t tell you what I got for presents or what we ate or which games we played. What I remember was feeling so loved
17. A few years ago, my dad shared this mindset with me, and it really helped me through high school and college: “Don’t stress out about that one test or that one paper. Even if you fail it (which you won’t), you’ll probably still be in the same place 10 years from now.”
18. For years, I felt so passionate about the British culture. It was so cool for me to experience it first hand, first in a vacation with my family, and then next with studying abroad. You all know how I felt about the latter experience – it was truly one of the best I’ve ever had. If you’re passionate about another culture, look into it more, travel to the country or place, and live life as a local. It is such an eye-opening experience.
19. Becoming more involved in social media was another great decision. Once I broadened beyond just Facebook to blogging, Instagram, and Twitter, I’ve made friendships that I wouldn’t have otherwise. (Hint: you all!) I know social media isn’t for everyone, but I sure do love it.
20. Really celebrate your Golden Birthday. It only happens once in your life, and it can be a really cool day if you make it that way. I was in England with one of my best friends on mine. That is a memory I will always cherish.
21. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but it might not necessarily be. I was recently looking through photos of me that were taken in high school, and couldn’t help but think how silly it was that I was so self-conscious. I straightened my hair daily, obsessed about my weight, and used self-tanner (yep, the secret is out). When I look back, I wish I had been more appreciative of what I had. Hopefully I can keep that mindset now, and be thankful for what I do have.
22. Birthdays can and will be as special as you make them. Even though I didn’t do anything extravagant yesterday, it was still a great day. 🙂
Well, it’s back to the daily grind! As always, thanks for reading!
I’m linking this post up to Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday. Head on over to her site and check out the party! 🙂
Question for the day:
What is something important you’ve learned, seen, discovered, or experienced over the course of your life?