With a few days left to go until my birthday, I've been thinking about my 23 things list. I'm happy-- a little surprised, even-- with the number of things I've accomplished this year, both listed and unlisted. There's still a little room left to do a few more things, but there are a few that I know will remain unchecked. I may not go camping, I will likely not sleep under the stars or take a road trip in the seven days left until my 23rd birthday. Those things, they are all adventures that are to remain on the horizon for now. What I will remember of this year is how often I've said yes-- certainly more than most years thus far. Yes to new friends, yes to dates, yes to midnight taco runs where I meticulously pick the avocado off so that I can inhale it all together in one big, delicious bite. Yes to staying out far too late on a school night (uh, something that it's taken my inner goody-goody until GRADUATE SCHOOL to finally accept as perfectly fine), yes to abandoning the rules and leading with my heart a little more.
But no to the things that are important, too-- no to the apartment that was too tiny, too icky, cheap but unsafe; no to the relationships that just did not fit quite right-- all things that maybe, before now, would have slipped through, silently piling up until I realized I wasn't as happy as I should have been. I am grateful that is not the road I've taken this time.
That is what this year has been-- a yes year. I'd written life lists before, but this one was different-- it was my promise to myself that rather than let my first year out of college just happen to me, I would actively jump in and do as much as I could. And thus, I'm giving this particular thing a permanent place on all future life lists. Not as an unchecked goal, but more as a reminder to the remarkable beauty that lies within those three little letters. I never want to be afraid of what happens when I just go & do instead of over-think. I am far prouder of the lessons I've learned in this year than I am in the responsible GPA I maintained during college, the sensible bedtime I kept for some 20-odd years of my life. And so, because of this, I look to 23 with ridiculous excitement-- because though I have some vague plans, in reality I have zip, zero clues as to what is coming this year, and I couldn't be more excited to find out.