I’m 26 today. As I wrote yesterday, I think that 26 is the most boring age to be, ever. I had a lovely weekend celebrating with my family and have no idea what my sweetheart of a boyfriend has planned today. I do, however, have a thrilling day of standardized state testing ahead of myself…ugh. I feel so bad for my little worker bees, plowing along through these torturous tests.
A yearly tradition I’ve had for the past few years is to make a list of things I want to try for the year ahead—using the number that corresponds with my age. So…
26 Things To Do At 26
1. Finally work on learning the guitar, either with my DVD or with the help of my brother or dad. I was a musician for many years and it makes me so happy. I want to create more space for this in my life.
2. Keep working on my blogging. I don’t have a huge audience yet, but I love it, and have been learning a lot, and definitely want to keep it up.
3. Submit some freelance writing and try to work on getting published—a goal I’ve had since I was a young girl.
4. Keep gardening. It’s amazing that something so seemingly silly has brought such joy to my life, but it has and I want to look for opportunities to expand my little garden.
5. Start seriously and aggressively saving for the Europe trip Andrew and I have been dreaming of so that we can make that dream a reality in summer 2010.
6. Keep experimenting in the kitchen with more healthy recipes.
7. Sing karaoke! I’ve never done this, so it should be an experience and a half. Also, one requiring a significant amount of alcohol.
8. Be a better teacher. Keep working and being committed to learning more about how to teach effectively.
9. Learn to take pictures and acquire a good camera.
10. Get the new I Phone. I’ve obsessed long enough, and I’m sure Andrew is super tired of me molesting his all the time.
11. Try and do something new and exciting every weekend, specifically something that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
12. Take a sushi making class.
13. Spend more time in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe—two amazing places that are so close, but I never visit.
14. Go camping…hopefully in Yosemite.
15. Start volunteering on a weekly or bi-monthly basis with the homeless or adult literacy.
16. Lose the extra 50+ pounds I’m carrying around for good.
17. Write in my journal regularly.
18. Try and stay more on top of the little things I hate: grading, laundry, etc. Doing a little bit at a time makes life so much easier, yet I tend to let it pile up.
19. Learn to play poker. Yes, my boyfriend is a professional poker player and I’ve never played.
20. Take Andrew to Monterey for a romantic vacation…my favorite place ever.
21. Start using reusable bags and explore making more natural cleaning products.
22. Be more considerate of others. Try to put myself in others shoes before acting or speaking.
23. Be a better communicator: more honest but also more gentle.
24. Continue taking better care of myself: nail, skin and hair routine, and dressing better, as well as taking vitamins, getting sleep.
25. It literally strikes fear into my heart to write this, but go to the dentist. I HATE THE DENTIST.
26. Incorporate yoga and meditation into my weekly routine.
For me, 25 was a pretty great year. I learned a lot, and grew up a lot. I learned a lot about who I am, and who I’m not, and really learned to feel more comfortable in my own skin. Sometimes, I contradict myself: I like to read literature while watching reality TV. I love chocolate and vegetables equally. I laugh and cry easily. In the past, I’ve allowed my little idiosyncrasies to make me feel uncomfortable or awkward. I want this year to be about really reveling in who I am and who I’m not, and learning to incorporate the things I really, really love into my life.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
—Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”