Today I turn 22 years old. I can honestly say that they have been the best 22 years of my life. For some reason though, birthdays seem to mean less and less to me as I have aged…mainly because I usually don’t have any friends to celebrate with… but parties can be a bit of a hassle anyways. Sometimes it is better to just stay out of the limelight. And let’s face it, we all know how awkward it is to sit there while everyone sings happy birthday to you. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. But one thing is for certain when I say that when birthdays come around, regardless of if you have friends or a party, it is a great time to reflect on your life. It is a chance to look back on what you have managed to accomplish and experience and where you see yourself heading in the future. For me it’s all about making the most of how ever many years I am fortunate to have left.
The first thing that came to my mind upon doing some reflecting over the past few days was this: I am still young. The truth is that I feel like I expect too much from myself and raise the bar so high that I often forget that…well…I am only 22. Think about it. Most 22 year olds live basically to get hammered and lucky on the weekends and have little or no direction for their lives whatsoever. After all, important things will come eventually, right? Well…I don’t really relate to any of those things. My system of beliefs has me focussed on bigger and better things. But lo, I am still only 22. There are things that I should be spending my time enjoying. There are things that I should spend less time worrying about because they will in fact happen eventually. My whole life I have been a bit ahead of my time in many ways…but I am coming to realize more and more that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing and that I need to enjoy it.
So being the devout list maker that I am, I made a list of things that I am going to better incorporate in my life to truly enjoy being 22 this year. 21 is over. My introduction to “real” adulthood is over (a.k.a having the ability to legally gamble and purchase tobacco and alcohol…all of which I haven’t done yet…nor plan to), and now my twenties are well underway. So this year, here are a few things that you might see me do a bit more of:
- Go for gold. People who know me well know that I say this phrase a lot when I give advice or recommend something. Well darn it now’s the time that I actually need to do it too! It is one of my mottos now and defines the way that I plan to live the rest of my life. If a doubt arises, just go for gold, man. Something awesome is bound to happen.
- Grow my hair a little bit longer than what most people who know me are used to. Not long, not anything remotely shaggy or obnoxious, nothing like a social statement or something I would be ashamed to meet someone important with. Just a bit more flowy, voluminous hair. I am losing my hair. I have been for years and it is only going to get worse. I’m not sure how much longer it will last. Therefore, I’m going to let my locks flourish for a while.
- Take more pictures. And they may mostly be selfies.
- Wear classier shoes. No more of this “These are functional” excuses. I need some pumped up kicks if I’m going to do awesome things. So watch out for those.
- If I don’t love the song, I’m not going to listen to it. This attitude goes for a lot of things, actually. I’m not going to waste my time anymore, dude. No more dilly dallying, and if a song doesn’t have me literally distracted because of its sick beats and riffs, or if it doesn’t inspire me or make me want to dance, then I will skip it and wait for one to come along. There’s just no point.
- Be a better brother. I have 3 (well…6) awesome siblings. People my age are supposed to be self absorbed though, aren’t they? Maybe…but not me. I need to nurture these relationships. If there is one thing I have learned from my social life, it is that your family members are the most important. Everything else is temporary. So I’m going to show up more. Love more. That is what I want to do.
- Wear my fanny pack more. It truly is so much more comfortable and effective than having stuff in your pockets, and if you don’t believe me, well then try it for yourself.
- Take the long way. The beautiful route. In effort to save time in my life, I am actually wasting it. I am going to keep my curtains open. Sunroof open. Windows down (unless it’s freezing of course…). If I need to go down the street, I’ll walk, not drive.
- Do more. Post more. Like more. Comment more. Never miss wishing someone a happy birthday. Since social media is such a huge part of our lives anyways, then I want to make it more social. I have lived too long being preoccupied with the fear of annoying people. Well darn it, if I expect to make my world a more awesome place, then I need to share more awesome stuff.
- Cook regularly, run slower but farther, and listen to more music by the Dave Matthews Band. Are these connected? Maybe. Did I just not want to have more than ten convenient bullet points? Also maybe. Regardless, fresh food is good for the soul, I need to enjoy my healthy body and beautiful surroundings, and come on people…the Dave Matthews Band has some seriously awesome timeless jams that make me so dang happy.
So there you have it. Who knows? Maybe you could benefit from a few of these things as well. The point is that life is SO good, guys. SO good. And one thing I have learned is how much control I really have over it. So happy birthday, Dill. A toast to a #21 well done, and here’s to an even better #22!