Monday, July 16, 2012

the plans that used to matter, the ones that do now, and the thing about having 365 opportunities to change.

I turned 22 on Friday. Yes, it was Friday the 13th. Yes, I was also born on a Friday the 13th. Honey badger doesn't care.  In fact, I didn't care. I mean, it's 22. So what?

My gift to myself was sleeping in. In fact, I slept for 12 hours straight, and it was the best ever. My gift from my parents was a new running skirt and a pair of new running shoes. Because apparently all I can think about these days when I'm not running is running.

On my 21st birthday, if you'd suggested that I'd be overjoyed to be buying running shoes on my 22nd birthday, I would have laughed in your face. But then I guess in one year, those 365 days are actually 365 opportunities for change.

365 days are 365 opportunities to change. Change something, change anything. If there's something you want to do, something you want to change, every morning you wake up is an opportunity to do so.

Three hundred and sixty-five opportunities to change.

The thing about birthdays is that they force you to stop and think - even if you don't care about your birthday, you still have to adjust at least long enough to say, "I'm twenty-one, er, twenty-two." They're milestones that creep up regularly and you're forced to acknowledge. For me, birthdays always make me reflective. I think about where those last 365 days took me - the changes I made, and the changes I didn't. The plans that came to fruition, the plans that got thrown to the wayside. The chances I took, and the chances I was too damn scared to take.

Hindsight is 20/20, and as I look back I can see that the feelings and convictions I have now started to grow their roots in my time in China, in having my birthday dinner overlooking The Bund in Shanghai.

A year ago, my plans went like this: I wanted to start having kids when I was about 28. Of course, I wanted to be married for at least three years first, so I'd get married at 25. I'd need a year to plan the wedding, so that meant getting engaged at 24. I wanted to date the guy for at least two years first, so that meant he already had to be a part of my life by...  22.

Today, that math is out the window. Where I see my life one year from today is far from those plans; other-side-of-the-world far away. Marriage and kids are so far in the future that I'm not even sure I see them anymore. It wasn't one single day changed that, but 365.

On July 13, 2011, I didn't know that I would wake up on July 13, 2012 in an apartment in DC and go running before going to work. I don't know where I'll wake up on July 13, 2013, but I would be surprised if it's in DC. I would be very surprised if it's in North America.

That's the thing about recognizing 365 days as 365 chances to do and change anything. It suddenly seems like anything is possible because you've got 365 opportunities to make it happen. 


  1. Really pretty cool to realize the world is wide open to you! :)

  2. well, happy (late!) birthday to you, girl!! great reflection & I hope the next 365 days are awesome :)


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