The Golden Birthday (23)

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Does anyone else approach their birthday a little bit like it's New Years'? It's like a reset button for life, and makes the perfect opportunity for checking in with your priorities and where you're heading. Tomorrow I'll be turning twenty-three on the twenty-third, which is a golden thing indeed.

For the most part, my goal is to make each year better than the last. I see every year as an opportunity to grow and get better, and thankfully it seems like I've been succeeding! Twenty-one was a rough year for me — I had so many big life events without any of the skills to cope with them or the emotional intelligence to process what I was feeling. I spent a lot of time reacting to things instead of pursuing what I actually wanted out of life, and while that led to some tough times, it also motivated me to enter my twenty-second year with a renewed sense of purpose.

This time last year I was working long hours, not investing time in my interests, and not putting effort into taking care of myself. I wasn't excited about the life I was living which meant that most of my time ended up either being on autopilot or feeling discontent. However, the beautiful thing about twenty-two is that there is PLENTY of time to change. As I entered my new age, I knew I wanted to invest the energy to bring about the changes I wanted.

A year later and as I approach twenty-three, I joke that I've "Marie Kondo'd" my life — asking if something brings you joy can be helpful for more than just possessions. Though there are still things in my life I'd like to improve, I can honestly say it feels like I have my feet under me now. I don't feel like I've "made it" in a lot of regards, but I do know that I'm heading in the right direction. I'm making more friends, doing more (worthwhile) activities, and achieving more things than I thought I would. I'm not saying yes to be agreeable, I'm saying yes when I want to. And I'm not saying no to be disagreeable — I'm just focusing my efforts on saying yes to better things. I'm proud of the things I've done and excited about the things I've yet to do, and that's really the best feeling you can have. 

So for twenty-three, I plan to simply focus on being better. Being a better pet mom, a better partner, a better friend, a better climber, and better at my career. I'm also going to focus on being a better twenty-something, too — I am basically a kid, after all, and sometimes my nature pressures me to lose sight of that. I want to have fun, do the things I love to do, and invest time in the things around me that bring the most joy. In my opinion, that sounds like a recipe for an entire golden year (hopefully filled with plenty of champagne 😉).

Amanda McDowellComment