Age 26: Looking Back, Moving Forward

So in a few days I will be turning the majestic age of 26. Though I do not feel 26 is very old at all, it feels a bit weird, as all transitions do. It is probably not surprising to say that for a majority of my life my expectations for myself have been very high. When I do not meet these expectations, I tend to be really hard on myself, often in a way that isn’t necessarily healthy. So for this post, I am going to reflect on what I have accomplished in my young adult life and realistically what I want to accomplish this year. I am going to celebrate my life and what I have.

In my early adulthood, I have had many things to be proud of.

  • I graduated from my undergraduate at GVSU with grades on the Dean’s list all but two semesters. I served in multiple clubs, and held 3 internships to various organizations. 
  • I served in the AmeriCorps for two years, working hard to help a nonprofit educate and inform others about poverty and how to fix it.
  • I traveled throughout the states, visiting NYC, Washington D.C., Florida, Indianapolis, and Chicago multiple times.
  • I volunteered as a Big Brother for two years, building a strong relationship with a young boy in Kalamazoo.
  • I opened myself to new experiences and activities, such as meditation and ultimate frisbee.
  • I served on my first board committee, helping young nonprofit professionals succeed.
  • I fell in and out of love three times. Though it wasn’t always pretty, I learned so much about how to love others and how to love myself. When the right person comes along, I’ll have the experience and skills to appreciate them completely.
  • I made friendships in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids with incredible individuals that continue to nourish me and help me growth as a person.
  • I started graduate school in a degree I love. In 8 months, I will have a Master’s Degree at age 26. 
  • Even when life was hard and I was at my worst moments, I never gave up and never stopped pushing forward. Everytime I fell, I got right back up again.
What I want to accomplish this year:
  • Travel abroad. I’ve been putting this one off far too long.
  • Travel to Seattle. This one isn’t an “if” – the tickets are already purchased.
  • Run a race. Yes, I enjoy running now.
  • Find my first salaried job, a job i love. Yep, it’s about time I earn a modest wage.
  • Live life in the present moment. I’ve come a long way, but I still could do much better.
  • Find pleasure in the small things. We don’t live long enough to always be living in the past and the future. Now is all we have.
Thanks to everyone for making my 25th year a wonderful one. Now onward to 26, the celebration begins!

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