Friday, November 8, 2013

23 Lessons from 23 & 25 Before 25

Today I turn 24! And, to be totally honest, I am ready for this new year.  

via Pinterest.

I decided to write a list of 25 things to do before I turn 25. In making this list, I ironically realized how much I learned and lived during age 23.  I ended up writing a lessons learned list first and it became apparent 23 was a significant year. I really learned to set my Type-A persona aside and live without grades and accolades.

23 Lessons from 23
From an overachiever ...  

1.     Loss.
2.     Sometimes things just don’t go how you planned.
3.     Make a new plan.  But know it could change too.
4.     In fact, there are a lot of situations where it is better to just be flexible.
5.     Take Chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!  -- Ms. Frizzle 
6.     Be a little fish in a big pond.
7.     Long distance.
8.     Taking care of myself, even when I didn’t feel like it.  Like having a fever when mom was 1,000+ miles away.
9.    Date yourself.  Go for gelato, instagram a fancy lunch, stare sideways at modern art.  Basically, enjoy a "Me Party" every now and then — Preach Piggy! 
10.   Getting my butt from point A to point B.  No matter where that is.
11.   Diligence.  Writing my book.
12.   Have a more grown-up closet. 
13.   You catch more flies with honey.
14.   People make a place home.
15.   And, those people love you. Be thankful for them. 
16.   Little things can brighten even the worst days.
17.   It’s ok to be a little aimless — but have an expiration date.
18.   And, as weird as that sounds, enjoy it.
19.   Achievements are incredibly different from person to person after college. There is no rubric for success and different people get there at different times.
20.  Make time for the people you love. Write notes, send texts and call your mother already!
21.   Things don’t happen on a neat schedule. Time frames are messy and unceremonious after graduation.
22.  Feel comfortable in your own skin. I can like myself after dessert or without make-up. 
23.  If you aren’t happy, change it.  Oma used to say, "When you are under 25, there is nothing you can do that you can't undo." 

via Pinterest

25 Before 25 
With lessons in mind, I'm ready for a good year! 

1.    Keep blogging.
2.    Lock down publishing my book.
3.    Start a second book.
4.    Lower my cholesterol.
5.    Work out more consistently. 
6.    Make time for Robert.
7.    Archive my oral history work nationally.
8.    Go abroad again.
9.    See my parents consistently.
10.  Read one book a month.
11.  Finally watch The Wire.
12.  Grow my hair.
13.  Pitch stories to new publications.
14.  And old …
15.  Get Rasco to stop barking at other dogs on the street. Tips please! (He is trained otherwise.) 
16. Run a 5K. 
17. Don't let my driving skills get too rusty. 
18. Cajun Mardi Gras. 
19. Make perfect macarons. 
20. Make the family baklava recipe. 
21. Spread more joy to my friends and family. 
22. Volunteer — This does not mean pro bono freelance work. 
23. Budget. 
24. Work hard. 
25. Have fun. 

Note: I understand some of these are vapid. But everyone has the right to be vapid sometimes. Right?

Cheers to you, 24! 


  1. Wishing you a very happy birthday, and major props to all that you've accomplished in just one year! Here's to another great one for you - cheers!

  2. love this so much!

    p.s. The Wire! Yes!

  3. "When you are under 25, there is nothing you can do that you can't undo." Love love that! Happiest birthday, again :)

  4. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and letting me know that 23 comes with confusion for a lot of people. Cheers to a new year!


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