Twenty

And like a daydream, another hazy year is gone in a blink.

Before you jump onto that description and read further than intended (one of my favorite sayings about writing is: “It’s not that deep), let me explain. When I say hazy, I don’t mean blurry or ill-prepared, or even bad. I didn’t listlessly spend the days stuck in a routine. I didn’t waste away in this fast-paced college life… I just can’t fathom that I’m already to my 20th year.

In my head, I’m 35, and sick of adolescent/young-adult bullshit, childish drama, and the same sob story that I replay to cope with the stress of college. And at the same time, I feel as if my youth will never leave, my nature being inquisitive at heart. I am a learner who has a strong tendency toward significance, and the older I get the more I find myself worrying about the future than actually enjoying the now.

I even feel a bit taken aback as I write this, that once again here I go with my lists, making all of these intentions and plans for the future instead of celebrating my birthday and living for today. But my lists make me feel safe, they make me feel prepared, they give me something to focus on, and egg on my passion for significance. Maybe that deep-meaning I crave will hit me like a train and come into my life this 20th year.

So, to prepare for my twenties, here are the 20 things I want to work for – whether it be in the next month, the next birthday, or until I’m 55 and sipping tea while watching birds (or whatever 55-year-olds do).

Practice more self-care:

Self-care for me often means saying no, and keeping my plans/schedule limited. It’s the times when I overstretch myself that I perform (and feel) the worst.

 

Talk to a therapist regularly:

I had pretty poor experiences with therapists/doctors growing up, and have had to carry around a lot of medical trauma because of it. One major win that I’ve had in working to overcoming these emotions is understanding that talking to someone is so incredibly helpful, and meant to relieve the pain instead of inflicting it. I want to find a regular therapist in the area with whom I can discuss every anxious thought that flows through my mind regularly.

 

Save money:

Definitely need to create some sort of plan to execute this goal… send help!

 

Seek out identity:

I feel as if this is the main goal we all chase, the one lost thing we can’t seem to find. I’m not sure the exact map to follow, or even what direction to take, but I’m hoping that in the next year or so I can take the first step into furthering discovering my identity – and not the one society paints on 20-year-old women. I want to embrace my identity as an artist, a student, and an independent innovator. 

 

Eliminate distraction:

Pretty much this means putting down my damn phone!

 

Be assertive:

I’ve been working on this for a while now, and am happy to report that I have made improvements in being assertive in situations in which before I would remain silent. I want to continue to speak up and share what’s on my mind, for my own mental health and happiness.

 

Cook More:

I used to make the best food in high school, vegan, organic, all-natural, you name it. But once I lost my access to a kitchen for a year, my body has (sadly) grown accustomed to the convenient and easy food choices. I think we could all benefit from cooking more at home!

 

Love Better:

Sometimes I worry as if I am self-centered and I would like to learn h0w to live with a more open heart.

 

Increase faith:

Part of my anxiety comes from having a lack of faith that God works all things in my favor for a purpose. With trust and a sense of belief that this is the truth, hopefully my worrying will be replaced with faithfulness.

 

Reflect on my past:

My past is painful. There are people who have hurt me and there are people who have betrayed me. There are places that make me sad, or make remember things I made myself forget. But as a way of coping and understanding, I want to reflect and ponder about my past, without any emotional judgement or sadness muddying the thoughts.

 

Plan for the future:

And once the past can be tucked away with an understanding comfort, I can truly have my fresh start to plan for the future – the writer, creator, and woman I am meant to be.

 

Find a way to make money:

As much as I don’t want to focus on this subject, I know that money has a major effect on how I’ll live my life, where I’ll travel, where I’ll live, how far I can reach my audience, etc. If I can find a way to make money, without straining my mental health, relationships, or studying, I will do it this year.

 

Start writing poetry again:

I often forget I wrote a whole book of poetry. It used to be my escape, my therapy, and my best form of revenge. I want to get back to that spine-tingling excitement of creating art on a page using words.

 

Spend free time educated:

I spend too much time scrolling or watching pointless shows on Netflix, and want to use my valuable free time reading, drawing, painting, writing, listening to Podcasts, or watching TED talks. And occasionally Netflix took, of course.

 

The happiness destination:

If there’s one thing I want, no need myself to understand in my twenties, it’s that essentially to remember that it’s impossible to reach happiness. It’s not a destination after all, it’s a choice. I think I forget I have that much power sometimes.

 

Stop being so critical:

I find myself becoming rather harsh, and I want to reduce the amount of critical thoughts in my mind and replace them with opportunistic ideas and inspiration.

 

Begin lifelong investment of art:

This is one I am very excited about, because I know that I want my future house to be dripping in artwork.

 

Work on communication:

As attached as I am to my phone/devices, I find myself reluctant to respond and communicate what’s really on my mind, whether it’s a potential career opportunity or just a text from my boyfriend that I forget about.

 

Be more accepting:

Often a feeling of powerless comes over me when things don’t go my way, and this will be the year of accepting that everything works out for a reason, and I am enough as I am.

 

Find a way to laugh every day:

Because I’m officially in my twenties. What’s not to love about this life?

Xoxo,

Madeleine

 

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