Thursday, July 26, 2012

At Year's End: A Reflection on Being 22

Being 22 is an interesting age. In my experience, people expected a whole lot less of me than I expected of myself because I "was only 22." People I talked to told me of themselves or their children at 22 and how little they had accomplished (and how much they partied) at that age. I impressed people with my work ethic and my idealism.

To be perfectly honest, I disappointed myself with 22. I turned 22 as a babysitter--not what I was expecting to do with my life at that point in time. I was with a total d-bag, who I knew was a toxic person in my life. Despite all the idealism that went into my decision to become a VISTA, I think, in retrospect, that I could have gotten a better job and done more with myself.

But 23 is going to be different. 23 marks a new year, a new beginning, and a new me. My first stop at 23 is to do well on the GRE. Then I'm off to Korea for an entirely foreign and character-building experience. I am going to try new foods that I don't know the name of, much less what's in it. I am going to write more and read more. I am going to grow my capacity for compassion and patience and continue to rise above petty drama and the tendency to complain. I am going to build lifelong habits for these traits so that I can be a good role model to my niece and nephews and maybe someday, my own children. I am going to travel to all those places I only dreamed about and I am going to build lasting memories based on experiences, instead of material goods. I am going to get to know myself better than ever before and spend hours on introspection. I am going to be outgoing and friendly and not be afraid of making stupid mistakes, because I will most certainly make them. I am going to buy an external hard drive and back up this blog and all of my facebook photos, finally. I'm going to do with 23 all the things I always wanted to do, like grabbing the bull by the horns, except it might not be a literal bull. We'll see.

I can feel it in the air that 23 is going to be fantastic. There are no do-overs in the game of life, so I am going to make sure that it's the best year yet.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother who instilled in me this sense of adventure I plan to capitalize upon! She has always been the best example in my life of who I want to be and has shown me through love and compassion that I can do anything I set my mind to and I can be whomever I decide to be. Thank you for all your love and support and thank you for birthing me drugless 23 years ago today. Your strength of mind, body and character never ceases to amaze me.


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