Chapter 24

My 24th birthday was this past Sunday. I spent the day doing only things I wanted to do. Namely: surrounded by pretty things (candles and flowers) relaxing, eating good food (see example of chocolate-covered gluten free pretzels below), spending time with family, and watching my favorite movies (Rear Window, Elf). It may sound boring, but for me it was perfect.

As with each birthday, I also took a few moments to look back at the last year and assess. What did I do that I loved? What can be improved on for the next year? Where do I want to be at 25?

This year, much like last year, was filled with change. I'd moved apartments two more times. I started a new job, got promoted, got promoted again. I made new friends who are wholly different from me and also still very much the same. I went on more trips than I have any other year of my life -- with friends, on planes, to cities and beaches. For the first time, I saw the sun set over the water instead of experiencing a sunrise (west coast beach, and all).

At 24, I think I've learned a lot. I've learned enough to know that I know very little, and that I have a lot of growing and learning still to do. But more and more, I'm finding my confidence in what I want versus what I do not want. That being said, I wanted to share my list of 24 things I believe. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you wont. Maybe next year, I'll have changed my mind. That's something I'm learning to: changing your mind about something isn't a failure; it shows you've learned something new. Growth! Remember me mentioning that a few times here?

  1. Family is the most important thing in the world. 
  2. You can choose your family, and you are never stuck with them. 
  3. Toxic people, regardless of their relation to you/what you feel you owe them, are not your inherent burden to carry.
  4. Analyze guilt to see if it is warranted; if it is, apologize. If not, let it go.
  5. It's so much more fun to be happy and nice than it is to be miserable and nasty.
  6. Dogs are the purest form of joy we can ever experience. Make an attempt to emulate that joy -- and trust -- at least a little bit, each day.
  7. You can never own too much toilet paper.
  8. Remember to recycle. And remember to actually take out your recycling.
  9. Being clean and smelling nice is very, very important. This applies to both your home and yourself. 
  10. The most enjoyable weather is late October to mid-December, and not only because of the Holidays (though that helps). Don't argue with me on this one.
  11. You can always be drinking more water. Go grab a glass now.
  12. Giving gifts is much more fun than receiving gifts.
  13. You are strong and can do more than you think: say yes more, even when you're nervous!
  14. You're allowed to ask for help.
  15. You're allowed to say no.
  16. There's no such thing as too many blankets on your couch. Pile it up until it's so comfy you can swaddle yourself like a burrito baby. 
  17. Fuzzy socks are always "age appropriate."
  18. It's never too early for Christmas music/movies. Or Halloween movies, for that matter.
  19. You can always find time to read more books, even if it's just a chapter! 
  20. Same goes for writing.
  21. People find happiness in different ways. No one is more right or wrong than the next.
  22. Be kind to strangers, always.
  23. Complaining is a waste of energy. Work to change your circumstances.
  24. We're all messy people trying to figure out life, no matter how convincing our social media presence.

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