It seems like each year goes faster. One day blends into the next, until suddenly you’re celebrating a new season with loved ones and setting fresh goals.
Friends, today is my birthday and I’m sure I’ll sound like a child when saying this, but 23 sounds like the real deal. Something about not being in a classroom and spending most of my days at one of my two jobs makes me feel really adult. And you know what, it feels good.
To know that I have worked hard and provided for myself gives a huge sense of accomplishment, but even more, it makes me look forward to this year. When I look back to this day one year ago, I see an anxious undergrad senior with no idea what was going on. If only I could go back in time and simply embrace the moment I was in.
As if I really have any idea what is going on now, it’s easier to see that everything will be okay. Goals may be accomplished, they may not. Either way, a new day will lead into the next and life will move on. That being said, I still believe in setting goals for the next year and this go around, it’s exciting to know I can actually make them happen.
With 23 finally here, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder how I want to grow and challenge myself. So here we are, friends. Here’s my list of 3 to-do’s this year. (I initially wanted to try to come up with 23, but I’d rather focus on fewer, more significant goals. These 3 themes encompass my original 23.)
– Build relationships //
I’m realizing the Lord has placed a yearning in my heart to build relationships. I used to think this meant I needed to know the most people, but my heart rests easier in the deeper company of few. INFJ comin’ at ya. I want my relationships to look different though; I need to find someone to pour into me directly, a mentor, who will help me pour into others, especially the younger generation. Serving others is on my list, whether that be at church or friendships. Finally, I want to pursue deeper intimacy with my family and the Lord by truly caring for those relationships. This takes daily work.
– Grow up //
It’s weird to look at myself and finally see somewhat of an adult (LOL because daily life is still a hot mess). But it’s time to strive to be the man the Lord calls me to be, practically. This looks like denying myself and saving for my future family, as well as continuing my education. I also want to dive headfirst into my heart’s passions, including people, culture, and writing. There’s a reason the Lord put these desires within me. It’s also time to start treating myself with respect, physically I mean, because as Socrates says, “It’s a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Say it louder for the people in the back (me), Socrates. Ultimately though, it’s time to accept who I am and rest in the peace that the Lord created me an awkwardly anxious dreamer. Who am I to allow my weaknesses to overcome my strengths? It’s time to find what the Lord has for me and not hold back.
– Explore the world //
Lastly, I want to make the most of every moment on this planet. One of my favorite writers out there, Jedidiah Jenkins (follow him here), abandoned his dream job to, “…do something radically different, something that scare[d] the crap out of him.” So he rode his bike from Oregon down to Patagonia. By no means am I saying I need to quit my job and hop on a bike, but he also claims that, “The routine is the enemy of time. It makes it fly by.” I don’t want to live a regular existence, I want to see the world. 22 held sweet adventures in Asia, so where will 23 take me? I know for sure New York City in January, but it’s incredible to budget and save for other opportunities (thinking Pacific Northwest in May and ICELAND in June). But it’s not about going to the other side of the country or world, it’s about opening your eyes. I want to get outside and experience all the world has to offer. I want to learn something new each day, whether it’s how to take good pictures, write moving poetry, or cook a killer meal. This world is beautiful; I don’t want to waste it.
23 seems like a new chapter; I feel differences in the future. Thanks for sticking with me this long and hey, I look forward to another year around the sun with you all. Let’s make this one the best yet!
PS – If failing over the next 365 days to do these, please slap me atop the head. Thanks.