Well, tomorrow is my twenty-third birthday. To be honest, I find birthdays to be quite daunting. For me, birthdays represent two things I don’t enjoy: high expectations and lots of plans. Anyone that knows me understands my acute inability to plan things out properly. Creating a Facebook event for my birthday was a major success—perhaps even a milestone marking a new era of maturity.
In addition to the agenda, I (like most of you) unintentionally harbor high expectations for my birthday. It’s akin to New Year’s Eve. Expectations are at an all time high…and when the clock strikes midnight, you’re standing there in a sexy get-up wondering why things didn’t pan out as planned. You ended up drunk texting your ex. Your best friend ditched you for a sweaty Italian man. You have blisters all over your feet and someone just spilled vodka on your toes. You know what I mean. Plans suck. That’s why I do my best to stay far away from them and play things by ear. But alas, birthdays equate plans.
I’m also fairly sick right now, which has been a bit of a blow to my whole concept here. A whooping cough and a stuffy nose weren’t factored into my initial birthday plan, as they don’t seem to be particularly attractive attributes. I’ve spent my day in a fervor, ardently trying to heal myself by burning incense and being calm and reading and drinking tea. That didn’t work.
But I’ve come up with something I can do for myself, for my birthday, that doesn’t require anything other than a clear mind and nimble fingers. I can write down my New Year’s Resolutions. Birthday-style.
1. Get better at being alone.
I seem to have gotten worse at being alone since being in a relationship for the past year. I’ll binge watch Friends for hours, when I know I should be spending my time doing things that nurture me, like writing and reading and cooking and running. I want to become a pro at being alone. I want to utilize my time to the best of my abilities and go farther into the dark and wonderful expanses of my mind than I thought I could. I want to order dinner for one, see a movie tout seul, and spend hours sipping my wine while I hang out with Bre.
2. Stop texting and driving.
I’m so ashamed of this habit, and I hope you are too. I know it’s terrible to text and drive, but I still do it. Sure, I wait until I hit a red light or I’m stalled at a stop sign, but the details don’t matter. Texting and driving is a shitty habit that can kill people, and I’m going to stop. For those of you who have attempted to communicate with me via text before, this means my response time will be even more miserable…I’d say three to seven days after your initial contact.
3. Learn how to do a headstand.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to do a headstand. Frankly, it just seems so fucking cool. Who doesn’t want to be that girl? I’ve always enjoyed yoga, and I think this is the next natural step. After I start going to class, that is. I’ll let you know when I’ve accomplished this impressive level of bad-assery.
4. Get back into running.
I’ve been dealing with IT band syndrome since running my second half marathon in August. It’s been quite the hassle trying to get back out there pain-free, but I’m making way. My physical therapist has done wonders already, and I’m slowly but surely recovering. I can’t wait to get back to where I was. Running is the best therapy I’ve found. I love it.
5. Be single.
Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. No more relationships for awhile. It seems strange that I’ve found myself in relationship after relationship the past few years, despite being so independent myself. Even while I’m in a relationship, I question the nature of it. I yearn for time alone. While reminiscing with a friend I recently said, “Relationships can distract us from what we need to do.” That’s exactly how I feel. I may not know exactly what I need to do all the time, but I’m going to figure it out alone. I owe it to myself.
6. Get sick less often.
Why am I always sick?! I seem to fall under the weather every few weeks lately. It’s terribly inconvenient, uncomfortable, and aggravating. I want out. I’m going to take precautionary measures to keep myself healthy. That means not running myself down into smithereens, listening to my body, exercising regularly, and eating healthy. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my body happy. It deserves respect. I should give it more.
7. Get outside more.
This is a generic one. Being outside is critical to my physical and emotional health. This is especially evident when I step outside the office for lunch and try to gulp up as much fresh air as possible before I must make my retreat indoors. I’m fortunate to live up on Skyline, totally surrounded by forest. I can pop into the woods for a walk whenever I want, yet I rarely make it back there. I’m committing to spending more time outdoors, come rain or shine.
8. Write like a mother fucker.
I need to write more. I need to try harder. As Earnest Hemingway said, “Write clear and hard about what hurts.” (I rarely read Ernest Hemingway, so I should’t actually be allowed to quote him, but here we are.) It’s scary to write sometimes. I don’t entirely know what kind of deep-rooted, fragile, and elusive emotions are balled up inside of me waiting to be released onto paper. Still, writing has always been a source of happiness and fulfillment for me, and that’s reason enough to pursue it in my spare time. Screw resistance. I will work. Watch me!
9. Take risks.
I’m in love with the idea of doing something everyday that scares you. Sure, it’s idealistic, but I’d rather be that than safe. I want to collect more of those moments that make my heart race and my palms sweat. Enough said.
What have you done lately that scared you? Nothing? You’re boring. Go do something scary and report back.
10. Stop overmedicating.
Like you, I overmedicate. Headache? Medicate. Cold? Medicate. Can’t sleep? Medicate. I’m sick and tired of medicating myself for all of this crap. I know there’s another way, and I’m going to explore it. It’s challenging not to reach for a bottle of pills when I feel uncomfortable or off, but I know it can’t be my go-to solution. As I’m writing this, I’m like, really Bre? Do I really have to fight through sleepless nights and prolonged colds? Probably. I know those blue pills aren’t great for me in the long-run. I need to learn how to manage stress better and become a more zen-like human with superior health. No pills.