birthdays & reflections //
Yesterday, I turned 24. And honestly, I feel a little bit weird about it. I can remember when I was in the sixth grade and I couldn’t even comprehend what it would be like to be in HIGH SCHOOL (oh the horror!). Then, by the time I was a freshman, I couldn’t imagine what an 18-year-old self would look like — “Will she have short hair or long hair and will these freckles ever leave?”
Fast-forward to college. After transferring from one school to the next, with transferring to Auburn on the horizon, I had no idea what it would be like post-graduation. I mean, what does a semi-adult even do, other than slowly begin paying ones’ own bills, stock more than cheese and cheap beer in the fridge, and maybe travel. You prepare for four years for a job that may not be existent and you study as if you’re actually going to remember the single statistics course you took.
So yesterday, I woke up with the strangest feeling. This is my first semi-adult year, post-college. So what is looming in an unimaginable space? Well, I’ll be 25 next year. And if I still had a car, I’d most definitely be excited for the cheaper car insurance. I will be able to rent a car without a “you’re too young!” fee, and I vaguely remember someone saying that you can’t go on a cruise alone until you’re 25 (is that really a thing?). Those all seem rather mundane to me. 23 was a big year — I interned in the Big Apple, I graduated college, I moved to NYC, I have one of those humans that wants to be “steady” (yes, this is the 1950’s) with me, and I am slowly learning that heels are something to sit in, not actually walk in. So before I’m 25, I have some goals — there’s a really long list after the photos.
Photo timeline: 1 I don’t know what I was thinking about age as a baby, but those sunglasses are fabulous. 2 My early teen years were filled with too much eyeliner, very 2000s styling, and really moody photos. 3 New Year’s Eve 2009, in a Kelsey sandwich. 4 March 2011, Allison and I were local fashion designers. 5 Sometime in 2012, Nadene, Alyssa, and I.
I’ve decided that prior to 25, I need a miniature bucket list. You know, 25 things to do pre-quarter-life crisis. And here it goes:
- I know I’ve been saying this for a long time, and it’s really quite embarrassing that I still haven’t done it — read Wuthering Heights. It has, rather shamefully, been on my Goodreads “currently reading” list since 2012.
- Go to a film festival — even a small one. Maybe I’ll plan to see a few movies at the Lincoln Center this year!
- Put $1,000 in my savings account. Really, I just want to see the three nice little zeros, hanging out together.
- Pay off my credit card bill. While it’s definitely not an unmanageable number, it isn’t exactly adding to my life right now. So I’m going to get rid of it.
- Build my design portfolio (Donnie is hard at work on my website, as we speak!). Currently, it looks like a group of unrelated school projects. Because, you know, it is.
- Treat myself to a monthly manicure. Because if you follow the Wendy Brandes Jewelry account that I manage, you can see that I’m not the best at nail art. How does polish stay on your cuticles that long, anyway?!
- I recently saw Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief at a local theater, and am feeling compelled to watch a director’s entire collection. Whether it be Hitchcock, Woody Allen, or maybe I’ll just follow Martin Scorsese’s list of 85 movies you must see to know anything about film.
- Try at least three new foods (by region). There is an Ethiopian restaurant I’ve had my eye on, I’ve yet to try Lebanese cuisine (or not a strictly Lebanese dish — I’m pretty fond of Mediterranean foods), and my South American palate is lacking. Last year, I tried Peruvian food with Yoolee, but I didn’t go for the ceviche. Next time!
- I would like to generally be better at keeping in touch with friends. So long, excuses of schoolwork and general busyness. I’m finally settling into some sort of routine, and texting really isn’t that hard. I’m not really sure of how I will measure this. But I’m going to do it! I did finally send Yoolee and Sara their packages, but poor Alyssa’s very belated birthday card is still on my desk…
- Take a trip to Nashville that is more than 12 hours long — yes, Allison and Roger, that is on my to-do list!
- Maybe this is the year that I’ll actually get my Bonnaroo photos developed! Only two years late. There’s really something more fun about developing photos late. Or am I the only one who feels that way?
- Take a bicycle tour of Central Park, thanks to Citi Bike.
- Go camping without a tent. Outside of the city, obviously.
- Dance more frequently. Whether alone, in a group, in public, or at home. Much like in this video.
- At some point in the last year, I got too busy to listen to music. How is that possible? I’m still trying to figure that out. Luckily, I finally started a Spotify account and have a pair of headphones permanently lodged in my purse. I’m going to make listening to new music mandatory.
- Go to at least 6 art shows this year. I have a couple of friends who frequent them, so this shouldn’t be too hard! That is only 1 every 2 months!
- Spend an entire weekend playing Diablo 3. And I do mean an entire weekend. Turn the phone off, unplug the tv, and just play video games. Probably this requires copious pizza orders.
- Make Eggs Benedict with the perfect poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. It is my all-time favorite brunch food, after all. (Photo: brunch at Maharlika, one of my favorite brunch spots)
- Get my own apartment! The roommate ship has sailed. I am getting close to being a quarter century old, you know.
- Practice my golf swing at Chelsea Piers — spoiler alert: I don’t actually have a golf “swing” per-say.
- [Safely] jump off of a cliff into a body of water.
- Prep my own fancy cocktail at home. It must have at least 3 ingredients and involve a mortar and pestle. This also means I’ll need to invest in a mortar and pestle. I’ve put off this beverage Pinterest board for far too long.
- Keep a wine journal. Because I’m really quite dreadful at remembering which wine I tried a month ago and swooned over! I am always a fan of Moleskine’s products, so will likely go with that one.
- Ride a segway. Even if only for a few blocks.
- A trip with my sisters, Kelsey and Grace, and my mother. Maybe Philadelphia? That seems doable between now and next February, I think. Who knows, maybe we can even talk Nana into making the trip.