Sunday was my birthday and just like that, I’m 28. For some reason, this age seems “officially adult”. Perhaps that is because when I was a child and I’d imagine my life as an adult, in my mind I was always 28. I may still occasionally get carded when attending an R-rated movie at the theater (no joke), but I’ve reached the age that my childhood self always dreamt of becoming, and that makes me feel as if I’ve graduated to an entirely new level of adulthood.
I wanted to start off 28 with some of my favorite people, so I flew to South Carolina to spend the weekend with one of my best friends, Danielle. She lives near the beaches of Hilton Head Island and the area’s natural beauty is absolutely breathtaking; but I had no plans in mind. I just wanted to hang out with my friend. In the past year, what I’m doing has become vastly less important than who I’m doing it with. I’m a concrete believer that nothing is better than celebrating life with the people that love you unconditionally, and that means not necessarily having a plan. Sometimes it means relaxing or doing nothing at all – it’s about appreciating the people you’re with in that exact moment and holding on to who they are right then and there. That has become one of the most important things to me, and I plan to do more of that this year.
I also want to get under 200 pounds by the end of my twenty-eighth year, pay off the majority of my debt, put more money into savings, redecorate my apartment, and become a minimalist in my living space.
I want to lose weight because I want the world to see me for who I am, and not a number on a scale. What I’ve gathered from my own experience: when you’re overweight, society stops seeing you as a person and starts classifying you as “fat” first. You may be a gifted athlete, a financial wizard, a great person, a talented singer, a tech genius, or exceptional in anything else – but if you’re overweight, it doesn’t matter how wonderful you are because people want the number on the scale to be your first classification. It’s difficult when the world stops seeing you for all that you are, and forms their own opinion solely based on how you look.
I’d like to pay off debt because I want more freedom for my future self, and debt is like being chained to a ten-ton weight. It’s difficult to drag around, and why would I want to take it with me? It’s easier to be rid of it.
I want to save money to allow for my future self to worry less. A lot of people my age live paycheck to paycheck, and I’m willing to miss out on social engagements here and there in order to cement a better foundation for the person I’ll be in a year and furthermore.
I want to redecorate my apartment and become a minimalist because I’ve become a believer that things don’t make people happy, surrounding oneself with the right people and experiences do. It’s important to hold onto items that are useful; but unused clothing, books, electronics, and anything else that I own and have dragged from place to place over the years, but haven’t used – it’s pointless to keep. I’ve held onto things with the “I will use this eventually” mentality, and then it ends up sitting in my closet for another year until the same song and dance is repeated. Therefore, I want to cleanse my living space by simplifying it, but keeping what is useful while finding the beauty in less “stuff” being an adequate amount for happiness.
My last wish for my twenty-eighth year is for this blog to become successful. When I say successful, I want this site to help someone. I want someone to read my words and think “hey, I thought I was the only one who felt that way” and know they aren’t alone. I want them to know that anything is possible and all you need is to take one step forward in order to forge a path toward somewhere new. When a person realizes that anything can happen, the limits within the world disappear.
The most important lesson I learned throughout twenty-seven: there will always be people in the world who try to tell you who you are and make you appear to be something you’re not. It’s not always a good thing. It’s important to understand that each society fosters a culture, and parts of our culture don’t always allow for people to feel good about themselves. It’s important to recognize when someone or something doesn’t work for you and know that it’s okay to walk away.
As I reflect on where I am in life right now, I think of where I was three years ago and how I was dying to be who I am in this very moment. I’ve got a full-time job and I’m able to afford the car I always dreamt of having, an apartment in Chicago (the city I always wanted to live in), the greatest friends that continue to walk through life with me, family members that care, a plan on how to become a healthier version of myself, I’m well-traveled, and in a position where I’m able to help others. There are days when I want even more for myself, but the person that I am today is someone that I was dying to become; although I’ll be dedicating this year to continue in becoming a better version of myself, for today I know that I’m just enough.