It’s my last day of being 23! It seems like just yesterday I was blowing out the candles, but this time tomorrow I’ll be a full-fledged 24-year-old. It’s been a year of triumphs, losses, and trying to find my place in the world. And with my birthday tomorrow, I’m taking today to reflect not on what I learned (like I normally do), but on what I accomplished this year. Big or small, I did a lot and those things deserve their own moment of recognition.
This year was a year of firsts, of repeats, and of exploration. 23 year was a good year, but not particularly memorable, but one that is a starting point for a really fantastic rest of my 20s.
1.Went on my first vacation in 4 years
My last vacation that lasted longer than a weekend was in September 2015. Way too long, and I’m definitely going on more vacations this year.
2. Got serious about my health
I started eating better, visited my doctor about some long-ignored health problems, and my diagnostics during each visit have improved a ton after being my most unhealthy last April.
3. Started liking to drink red wine
It sounds insignificant, but after years of disliking red wine, I now love it and that feels very adult.
4. Stopped buying into fast fashion
I recycled a lot of clothes to new homes and stopped consuming as much. I buy second hand (especially for pricier pieces) and have taken the time to revamp my wardrobe to make old pieces feel new.
5. Started a new job
And I love it.
6. Cut my hair short
After growing out my hair for nearly 2 years, I went to a long bob in October and a much shorter bob in March. I can’t put my hair in a ponytail, but the hair compliments have been aplenty.
7. Went on dates
This year I really forced myself to date. I would rather swim in a vat of snakes than go on a first date, but this year I persevered. I had little luck, but I have lots of good stories.
8. Walked every day
My new office has a beautiful circular walkway that makes the best lunch time stroll. It has become one of the best parts of my day and adds some exercise to my routine.
9. Got back into pleasure reading
Like most college grads, I gave up reading when I started college and didn’t pick it back up when I graduated. This year I got into e-books for traveling and waiting rooms and I’ve rediscovered my love of reading (and Rainbow Rowell – girl can write).
10. Cleared up my acne
I spent time and money on my face and saw huge results. And while I have a hormonal little bugger growing on my chin right now, I no longer hide behind heavy foundation on the regular because of breakouts.
11. Stopped eating red meat
I have tried vegetarianism, veganism, pescetarianism, and all the other eating trends. I have found for me that cutting out read meat makes me feel the best. And it’s better for the environment.
12. Traveled for work
I always thought it was so cool when my parents traveled for work. And after doing it myself, it’s still cool. And exhausting.
13. Had my first car accident
Can’t mention this year without bringing up the time an undiagnosed ear infection caused me to pass out driving and read end a Jeep. Get your ears checked.
14. Spent time in the kitchen
I cook again! My last apartment had a tiny kitchen that squished my love, but I’m back with a vengeance! My stove and oven are used pretty much every night and I asked for a hand mixer for Christmas. Call me Gordon Ramsey.
15. Ran social for a conference
Pursuing my dream of being a social media professional, I helped out a friend and ran social media for a conference I attended last year. And while the experience taught me that I never want to do it again, I had some baller tweets about communication and buying tickets.
16. Went out to brunch more
Portland is one of the best places to get brunch and I’ve been taking advantage of it. In March alone I went to brunch 3 times. Here’s to many more mimosas in my future and my wallet crying!
17. Made new friends
Turns out being social has some benefits.
18. Took a break from sharing my life
Around this time last year I took a break from blogging and social media. I’m still recovering from the break, but seeing my life not in the eyes of blogging and Instagram opened up a side of me I didn’t know since I’ve been doing this since I was 15. I’m curious to see how these two sides mesh as this year progresses.
19. Went to concerts
Haim, 5 Seconds of Summer, Joywave, Sir Sly, Donna Missal, and more. The other night I went to a concert and found I’d ended up going somewhere very hip – a Mk.Gee and Wallows concert.
20. Got into barre
I still hate exercise, but barre focuses on mind and body and is faster paced than yoga so I’ll keep doing it.
21. Saw more movies
Movies are my first love and I’m so glad this year I joined a movie club so I could watch more.
22. Officially diagnosed my anosmia
After two whole decades of just being whatever about not being able to smell, I am officially diagnosed! It was a little rough finding out that there is no surgery or anything to fix the problem, but I’m glad to finally have answers.
23. Dyed my hair
Aside from a short ombre stint in college, I’ve never colored my hair. And in October when I went a shade darker I finally realized why so many people shell out $300 for a salon trip. I think I’ll stick with my natural brunette for now, but my fear of hair dye is no more!
24. Went on a suspension bridge
Definitely the coolest thing I did this year. While in Vancouver, BC, we went on the Capilano Suspension Bridge and it was incredible! I’m terrified of heights, but being in nature – so still, freeing – at an impossible suspended height was truly the most miraculous thing I could have wished for at 23.
Here’s to hoping 24 is as great and filled with adventures!