*Turns music up loud enough to have the neighbors complain.*
“I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU! BUT I’M ALMOST 22! GOT SOME GOALS AND WISHES AND HOPES AND GOTTA LOT OF THINGS TO DOOOOO!!!!” (okay, so I know those aren’t the actual lyrics but I improvised to fit my life)
So my birthdays coming up fast. Okay, fine. So it’s in November, but it seems like it’s rushing toward me. Anyways, I saw this post Cait did on Paper Fury about her list of 22 things to do before she turned 22 and I thought it was a brilliant idea and that I’d love to take that challenge!
My 21st year has been a year of a lot of change, a lot of it the result of turmoil that I had no control over. I don’t want to remember this year for that. I want to remember this year for the good change that I created. I want to remember this year for the positive things I learned and loved. But to make that happen, I have to actively choose to create change. I guess this list is kind of a list of goals for how I plan on doing that. Some of these goals are reading related, some are blog related, some are life related, but all of them are things that I think will help me improve myself. So let’s dive into the list!
1. Learn HTML and CSS
This is actually something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, since I was in high school, waaaaay before I started a blog. I’ve always thought I’d like computer science. It’s kind of where art and science really meet in my mind and art and science are the two major things I love. Now that I run several blogs I have an even better excuse to learn coding as I’ll eventually need it for design purposes. There are tons of excellent and free online courses from top tier universities on coding too, so I’m in luck!
2. Create A Great Blog Design
This kind of goes hand in hand with #1, but I want to make my blog a beautiful place for myself and others to come. I love graphic design, it feeds my artistic side and continuing to make my blog feel like a beautiful sanctuary is kind of a passion project for me.
3. Read At Least 86 Books
This is one of my “simpler” challenges. I just want to read as many books as I did last year, if not more. I’m already ahead of schedule, so so far so good with this goal!
4. Start Singing Again
Singing is a part of my soul, a part of who I am at the deepest level. When I fell into my depression and anxiety, I stopped singing. I haven’t truly sung and sung out for about a year and a half. And that makes me so sad. It’s like half of my heart has died. So we’re bringin’ out the defibrillator to start that part of my heart up again! I’m going to start singing again, even if it’s just in small ways, in the shower, in the car, whatever. This goal is nonnegotiable.
5. Take Morning Walks
Where I live, there are gorgeous mornings in spring and summer. The sunrise paints the clouds shades of peach and rose, the crickets and birds sing, and fresh air hums through the trees. I miss that feeling of being out in nature, feeling free, and just appreciating how beautiful life is. So to remedy that, I’d like to take a morning walk at least once a week.
6. Polish Up My Photography Skills
It’s ironic that I’m really good at photo editing and graphic making because I’m absolute crap at photography. No, really. Something always feels…off in my photos. I’d like to get better at taking photos. I don’t have a fancy camera or anything and I definitely can’t afford to take a photography course, but I can practice on my own and hopefully (fingers AND toes crossed) improve.
7. Calm My Anxiety Enough To Read
One of the reasons I listen to audiobooks is that I get really anxious when reading actual books. I have no idea why, there’s obviously no reason to be scared, I’ve (quite literally) read hundreds of books in my 21 years. Nevertheless, when I pick up a book, my heart seizes, my stomach churns, my mind whirls into a tizzy, and the words swims before my eyes. It’s so bad that it impairs me from pleasure reading as well as reading ARCs. Which is a big problem, as I’m a reviewer. And it needs to stop. I’m not going to let my fear take another thing I love away from me. This is ridiculous! Enough is enough; I’m putting my foot down. I’m going to read in peace again.
8. Go Out Dancing With Friends
I’m 21 and I’ve never been clubbing. It’s a tragedy. I don’t drink, but I love good music and dancing. Unfortunately, I went to a very serious university (:P guess who was the odd one out…) and could never find anyone to go out with because everyone was always studying. Now that I’m back home, I want to go out and go dancing with some of my really close friends!
9. Finally Get That Tattoo
I’ve wanted a specific tattoo since I was about 16. My mom has always been cool about it, even when I was a teen, she just cautioned me to be sure about it because I can’t take it back once it’s done (gee, is that a metaphor, Mom?). And I’m sure. I know what I want and how much it means to me. I’m scared of the pain, but I think it will be worth it in the end. Now, this goal kinda depends on money, so it might not happen, but I want to try and make it work out.
10. Go To Some Summer Festivals And Events
I live 15 minutes from a major city in the US, so there are always events and festivals going on in the summer. But I almost never go. Sigh. I’ve become an anxious homebody, and that’s not who I really am at heart, at heart I’m an extrovert! I need to take the opportunity to appreciate what my city has to offer. And I will, starting this summer.
11. Feel Pretty Again
I feel like my depression has just sucked the life out of me. I used to be pretty and smart and confident and now I’m…I don’t know. I haven’t felt pretty in a long time, haven’t felt like I’ve had the right to be pretty or feel pretty. I stopped taking care of myself, stopped doing my hair and makeup and wearing pretty dresses that made me feel beautiful. That ends now. I am beautiful and I do have the right to feel that way. This has gone on long enough. It’s time to start taking care of myself again. It’s time to feel beautiful again.
12. Connect With My Friends Again
Another thing my depression and anxiety stole from me is my friends. I just kind of withdrew and curled up and stopped interacting. And it’s time to stop that. I’m ready to have friends again, ready to not be alone (honesty, when was I not ready?).
13. Improve My Reviewing Skills And Find My Voice
My reviewing skills have come a long way, but they also still have a long way to go. I still feel like I have yet to find my voice as a reviewer. I want to make my reviews more me, more infused with my unique personality. This will mean a lot of experimenting, so y’all will have to bear with me through it all, but I promise you it’ll be worth it in the end!
14. Put My Ideas On The Page
Remember when I said I wouldn’t write a novel unless some idea struck me? Well an idea struck me (straight in the bulls-eye)! And I really want to get it down on the page. Its kinda been in the incubation stage for a while now and I think it’s time to start turning it into a reality. My goal is not perfection (something I have to remind myself of frequently) or to get published, just to get this story out of me. Maybe I’ll end up sharing it on Wattpad or something. Who knows? It’s an adventure so we’ll have to see where it takes us!
15. Tap Into My Adventurous Side Again
As a kid and teen, I was such an adventurer. It’s been harder to be a physical adventurer with an illness that causes chronic fatigue, though. And that’s been getting me down. But there are many ways to adventure aside from actual physical adventuring and I think it’s time to bring out the good ol’ pirate ship and set sail again. Who knows what treasure awaits?
16. Spruce Up My Room
Confession: my room is a cluttered mess of junk. I barely have room for my bed. I feel like I don’t have a space of my own and that’s really not good. So I’m going to spruce my room up! It could be cleaning or rearranging things or just something to make the space feel like a sanctuary again. I think I need that.
17. Start A Collage Journal
I LOVE collaging! It’s one of my absolute favorite art forms. And I think a collage journal would be so cool! I’ve never really kept a journal because I never know what to write, but I know I could find some prompts online to get me started–oh! I could even share some with you guys! What fun!
18. Do Something Really Super Special For My Mom
I’m really close with my mom. She’s my best friend and she works really hard to help me and take care of me. And all while she’s completing her doctorate in psychology (her patients also adore her)! I’m so proud of her and happy to call her my mom and I just feel like she deserves something really extra special. Maybe a play or a concert or a comedy show or something? I want to give her an experience, versus just a thing. I want her to have something she’ll always remember!
19. Make Good Art
I’ve always been an artist and musician at heart. But when I got depressed, I just…stopped. Gave up. Threw the towel in. But I want to start again. Whether it’s digital or physical, vocal or visual, I want to make art! (As is indicated by many of the items on this list)
20. Start Getting Over My Perfectionism
My anxiety stems from my perfectionism. I have to be perfect at everything. On the first try. At least, that’s what I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking. And it’s wreaked havoc on my mind, torn apart my soul. I think overcoming my anxiety begins with overcoming my perfectionism. I know I can’t just snap and get over it, but I want to take small steps to overcome it. And that ties in with making “good” art, art that’s just for me, that doesn’t have to be perfect.
21. Do Some Volunteer Work OR Do Nice Things For Random People
I love giving back, in any way, big or small. I also believe that performing acts of kindness do a lot to help you when you’re depressed. So I want to do something nice for someone.
22. To Start The Search For My Heart’s Passion
I feel like my anxiety has gotten me all twisted up. I used to know who I was and who I wanted to be, but now…now I’m not so sure. So that’s my final mission: To search for it. For what sings to my heart. For that special something. For what makes me come alive. And I’m not going to stop until I find it.
So that’s it. Those are the major things (and minor things) I want to accomplish before my birthday comes around. I think this will be good for me. A journey of self discovery. Let’s hope I can stick to the list, though (remember: I do have terrible ADD/ADHD, so sticking to a list will be an accomplishment in and of itself). I think I can do it. You know what? No. I know I can do it. And I will.
Thank you again to the wonderful Cait for this lovely post idea (and life idea)! I hope y’all enjoyed it (and don’t forget to hold me accountable for it)! I’ll see you on the other side!
Over And Out!