The month between my last post and this one was full of stress and preparation and contemplation and hellos and goodbyes. Summer is swiftly ending…it seems like it was just the end of July and I was soaking up the Florida sun with my boyfriend and his family! Now I’m all moved in to my apartment at college and I have officially started my junior year. It’s madness, I say!
Oh, also, I turned twenty on August 7.
I was pretty melodramatic about it the night before, driving around my small hometown for hours just brooding and desperately trying to piece together the fragments of my teenage years so I wouldn’t feel like they were a waste. And looking back, I can conclude that they most definitely weren’t. I know my adolescence technically isn’t over yet but when I flip through the events that took place in my life between the ages of 13 and 19, I get a warm, satisfactory ending feeling about it all. I did some of my most important growing as a person in those years; I feel confident the personality I’ve developed and the way I present myself to the world, as well as in the special people whom I have chosen to hold close to my heart — my best friends and family. I love my passions and hobbies and thoughts and I am striving to work on myself so I can become who I want to be. As a twenty-something (gosh, that’s strange to think about!) I know that this upcoming period of my life is the time to turn my dreams into realities, to actually make stuff happen.
So here are twenty words that have been circling around in my head lately! Some of them are more abstract than others. Some I will explain and others speak for themselves but they all reflect who I am, what matters to me now, and what will matter as I walk into the future.
- Clarity – This is the one thing I hope and pray for when I’m at a crossroads and need to make a tough decision. I also strive to live in a way that brings me more clarity every day. In my twenties I want to really expand on this through yoga, meditation, clean eating, and whatever else I can do to clear my mind.
- Oppression – It seems like examples of oppression have become daily headlines these days. You’d think that as groups like Black Lives Matter and other activists spread awareness of discrimination against women, ethnic and racial minorities, and immigrants, people would wake up and realize that things need to change. Unfortunately, the switch from bigotry to acceptance is an especially slow one in the Western world. This word, its presence in society, and its implications never leave my mind.
- Rhythm – I am a firm believer that a catchy beat in a great song can get you through anything.
- Coffee – This is probably the only way I am going to survive college and being an adult. Related words: cream, extra sugar
- Listen – The power of listening — to loved ones, to yourself, to anyone and everyone — before speaking is so, so impactful. I want to make sure my interactions mean something.
- Outward – People like to say that your twenties are the right time to be selfish, to act and choose and live with yourself in mind first and foremost. And while I agree with that idea to an extent, I want to expand my perspective to include so much more than just me. I need to figure out where I fit into this big old world, yes, but that will come with time. I think taking yourself out of the equation and observing the workings of your city, community, the web of people in your life, and the parts of the world far away from you is such a necessary way of learning.
- Woman – I am one. I love being one. I love all of the amazing women in my life who inspire me and strengthen me more than they know. Womanhood is a beautiful, badass gift!
- Risk – I need to take one every once in a while.
- “Real World” – When the phrase is shoved down your throat 24/7 and mentioned by every adult professional you know, it’s kind of hard to not think about it. Can’t wait!!! Ha ha…
- Empathy – This is the best and most important characteristic someone can have, in my opinion! Practicing empathy lets you relate to others and gain insight that may prove invaluable later on.
- Long-term – At this point in my life I am only interested in things that will make me a better person in the long run. This applies to relationships, career opportunities, habits, friendships, et cetera…if it adds positive, stimulating energy to my lifestyle, I’m all for it!
- Alive – Something I aim to be (as well as fully present and aware) with every part of my being.
Stay free! xo