Day 3: Sun soaked hair and salty skin.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay was incredible. The end. 🙂

Our driver was a dude by the name of Zak. He said we looked like snorkelers when he picked us up and then told us it was the most perfect day to go but I’m sure he tells everyone that because he told everyone he picked up that they look like snorkelers. Classic, Zak. In my three days here, I can’t imagine a day that is anything different than what we’ve witnessed. But it really was the perfect day especially for beginners like us.

The short hike leading up to Hanauma Bay was exactly like you’d see in a postcard. The varying blues of the Pacific Ocean creeped into the crater that is the bay, the breeze was light, and the palm trees soared.

As a member of the first-timer snorkeling club, I thought I had it figured out. Just breathe. Funny because it’s like I forgot how. The water was only waist deep and I know how to swim, yet I keep psyching myself out when it was time to go under. After mustering up enough courage and a mouthful or two of salty water, I finally got the hang of it. Though, I was initially breathing like I was about to give birth. What is wrong with me?!

While I wish I had an underwater camera to share photos of the colors I saw and schools of fish I floated by today, I didnt. But I think going without made it all that much more sweet; a memory all my own. It was so peaceful watching gorgeous shimmery rainbow fish feed on the coral and tiny white with black speckle fish swim over my arms as I lay still in the water. You guys, I even found Dory! She was just a cute as the cartoon and was the only one of her kind among these medium-sized orange, yellow, and royal blue fish. What an experience and I cant wait to go again!

After a brief break to change and relax from a morning of flippering around (get it?), we hit up the Iolani Palace. Iolani Palace is the only royal residence in the entire country and was last lived in by Queen Liliuokalani in 1893 before the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown.

While meticulously restored to it’s original condition from the times of past queens and kings, the palace was a tish underwhelming. Only a handful of rooms and nooks contained furniture while other areas were completely empty. The design of the palace was incredible though with rooms inside of rooms and I spotted triangular shaped crannies in roped off areas. More of the palace seems to be off limits than on but whatevs, I’m sure there is a reason for it. The tour was self-guided via an audio device and if one wanted to spend a couple of hours there to bury themselves in the history, they might have left with a more fulfilling experience. 6/10 recommend.

Iolani Palace is behind the open air Hawaii State Capital building. I think this may have been my first state capital building visit, I haven’t even visited my home state of Minnesota’s building. Shame on me.

My initial thought walking through this area was that Hawaii must be an architect’s dream. To not have to really worry about the elements and just let your imagination run wild dreaming new designs.

Entering the State Capital building didn’t happen through a door, it’s just there. You are all of a sudden inside. Seeing the doors for the Senate and House of Representatives surrounded by a moat-like feature with families of ducks floating throughout and a roof in the shape of a volcanic cone open to the sky.. you’re just in it.

Quotes that made me laugh today:
“When is the Pineapple Palace?” -Dad
“We haven’t had breakfast all week!” – Dad (P.S. Yes, we have. Lol, dad.)
“Those are my tan seeds.” – Mom in reference to her shoulder freckles.

Day 2: Aloha from O’ahu!

Uff, I’m tired. But the good kind, you know? We all woke up pre-alarms today. I don’t know how rare it is for my parents to do that but it never happens for me. So I feel like a warrior.

After getting ready and my dad rolling his eyes because I needed to at least put mascara on (I have the classic see-through ginger lashes. Trust me, I’m saving us all by wearing a little ‘scara), we made our way to breakfast. Have you ever been to a continental that has french toast?! Me either! Also, I don’t know if it’s my vaca brain or Hawaii but the fruit here is some of the best I’ve ever had. So so fresh.

Today was one of my kinda, sorta, wing it days. They usually go just fine and this one definitely did but I still feel uneasy not having each day totally planned out. I can’t help but think there is time being wasted. But whatevs, I’m trying to get in touch with the islands “hang loose” pace.

After a 20 minute walk along Luxary Row aka the places I’ll never shop at #GUCCI, we hopped aboard the Red Line of Waikiki Trolley and made our way to the Foster Botanical Garden.

One of the first plants I came across was the Queen Emma flower and how perfectly fitting because my niece Emma is as beautiful inside and out as this flower and garden. This was a pretty sweet place and we spent about an hour looking at all of the lush green plants taller than we were and admiring the twisty trees. Two of my favorite were a Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree and the Quipo Tree. Google ’em.

Along the route is a butterfly sancuary with, what seems to be, a solitaire monarch. I don’t know where the others were but the Sioux Falls Butterfly House has these guys beat.

Between looking up at trees as if they were sky rises in a big city and tracking down Monte the Monarch, I did have a mini panic attack thinking I’d lost my wallet. While I stopped for water, I noticed my bag was unzipped and let me tell you, for not being a runner, I retraced my steps and made my way back to the entry in 3 minutes flat after having zigzagged and meandered for nearly 45 minutes. I ended up tracking it down in another area of my bag and may have wept tears of blessings. I had legit questioned if a monkey was lurking in the trees and unzipping peoples bags.

While we waited for our trolley to pick us up, we had an opportunity to peek at the Kuan Yin Temple next door to the garden. A kind face invited my dad and me in while my mom relaxed on a nearby bench but we decided to hang out outside, I didnt want to disturb the peaceful gathering with our tourist shades on.

As we waited a bit longer, we listened to the chanting during thier service. Buddhism has always fascinated me, the same way Christianity does. Bodhi, my cat, is named after a Buddhist term meaning knowledge or enlightenment and I have an array of Buddha’s and singing bowls in my home. I’ve always associated Buddhism with peace and meditation. I hope I’m not far off or offensive in that assumption but I’ll add it to my long list of religions to learn more about.

The trolley brought us through Chinatown which is one of the oldest in the nation, though, quite small. The driver told us that that Chinese love to gamble and congregate in areas along a man-made canal even though it’s illegal in Hawaii.

We later drove past an incredible art district for what seemed like blocks and blocks and blocks. The driver didn’t make much reference to it or the history of the area but it was near the SALT Shopping Center in case you find yourself in these parts. I’ll have to sort through my photos and dedicate an entire post to the beautiful murals we passed.

We ended our day walking along and sunbathing on the sands of Waikiki Beach. We managed to find a less crowded area a ways down by a jetty. Locals gathered singing a capella in the background, played fetch with pups, and jumped from the landing, ignoring the signs that say otherwise. “YOLO”, I heard someone say.
Waikiki Beach is as crowded and filled with as much homelessness as people say but it doesn’t give you a weird vibe. It seems to be a chosen way of life verses back home.

I ventured off a bit on my own down the jetty’s narrow path to feel the waves of the Pacific crash into me away from the busyness of the beach. It was exhilarating. And salty.

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped to listen to another street artist by the name of Michael Zanderigo sing I Want To Hold Your Hand and Hallelujah while we ate the most flavorful shaved ice I’ve ever had.

Well, it’s just after 9:00 p.m. here and my parents are already sleeping. Snorkeling tomorrow bright and early! Mahalo for reading.

Day 1: Planes, Trains and Automobibles

And, how has my dad never worn a backpack?

The title of this post is courtesy of my mom mid-ride through the Skylink Light Rail in the DFW airport. We were shuttled at 4:30. a.m. by my loving (and I’m sure tired) brother, flew dang near straight south to Dallas, and then found ourselves on this bubble light rail thing. Later in the day, we’d fly again, Uber, and Trolley it up. The only thing we missed in this 12-hour window was a boat ride.

According to a quick Google search (because I can sometimes be an uncultured millenial never having seen the movie), the characters Steve Martin and John Candy play in PT&A find each other extremely annoying and somehow, they must overcome the insanity of traveling together to reach their intended destination, or goal.

Boy does that sound super familiar today.

To say today went off without a hitch would be a quite the lie. I mean, technically it did but I didn’t factor in #moods. Planner fail. I am by no means an expert at travel, I don’t think anyone can be really; there are too many variables. However, because I do all the research and want to know all the possible things, that does help me to be a better traveler. I don’t get flustered easily, I can roll with the punches, or gate changes or the lack of signage in an airport I’ve never been in and I can figure it out. I’m not afraid to ask random people questions if I’m feeling out of sorts and I don’t embarrass easily.

As expected, our travel day was a bit tense. My mom has never been a fan of airports and my dad has never really been on vacation. He’s not accustomed to the “go, go, go!” nature that it can sometimes entail. Today was filled with a few bumps trying to navigate the change of pace, the weather, and the scenery but after a trip around the Pink Line on the Waikiki Trolley, a taste of the sweet Pacific Ocean between our toes, and a street band performance by a girl no older than 12 belting out some song I’ve never heard of with killer chords, I’m hoping my parents can see the silver lining in the lucky lucky lives we have been blessed with.

I’m excited to see where this week takes us and how it’ll impact my parents view of traveling together in the future. For the sake of our sanity, I hope they breathe in the chill-vibe air here. Channeling all the “ohms” I can muster rn. 😌👌

A hui hou (until we meet again).

2019: A Year in Review

Ya girl here with an annual update of all things ME! because it’s okay to channel TSwift on a semi-regular basis. After all, they say you need to love yourself before you can truly love others and that was the very-much-intentional theme for my 2019. (#unintentionalrhyme) While I didn’t fully accomplish the “love yo’ self” goal, I definitely chipped away at it and found out that my overall word for the last year of the teens and to close out the decade was INDEPENDENCE. Cue independent related songs, plz. I should have made a playlist.

Before I continue, I do have to say that 2019 really was hella good to me so this post might end up appearing like a cheese-fest but honestly, I’m okay with that because we’re supposed to celebrate each others wins even though most people forget to do that. If you’re not into that, this is the point where you roll your eyes and exit. Boy, bye.

I’ve rarely been one to focus on the bad, the crummy, and the ugly but I have had a couple of not-so-hot years, too. This post is by no means a gloat-fest because I know others may have had a year of misfortune or some really really tough moments. Rather, this is an opportunity for me to share with you that you CAN overcome whatever hand you were dealt, even the most unwelcome ones. While I touch on it briefly, what I don’t share in this post is how many times I’ve been disappointed in those closest to me this year and how often I’ve let people down or how lonely it gets when everyone you know is celebrating their love while you are three blankets deep, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in, watching another episode of Outlander on Netflix. #mood

Life is sometimes a bummer. But it’s also really great if you allow the great in.

With that being said and because I’m supes cliché, here are NINETEEN significant moments from my 2019. Note, I did not say my “top 19” for a reason. While most of these are positives, I did have a few bumps and they did define my year overall. *In chronological order because it was too hard to weigh the importance.*

  1. Knee Probs: I had serious FML vibes at the start of the year. At the top of resolution season 2019, the slick ice outside took me out more than once, finally landing me on the ground with a torn ACL and meniscus. I’m counting my blessings this year each time I make it across the ice without slipping.
  2. Art Therapy: I’ve always had a knack for all the things art but this year was the cherry on top after abandoning my creative spirit for so many years. I took an 8-week pottery class, found a new appreciation via mural works, quilled N’ chilled, and make alcohol ink coasters, to name just a few. I even busted out of my insecurity bubble and tried pole dancing and sound bath meditation. All the kinds of arts FTW.
  3. Arizona! I checked off another state with my mom during our yearly trip to somewhere new and set eyes on one of the seven natural wonders of the world; the Grand Canyon! Read about our trip here.
  4. Rediscovered Faith: At a time in my life that I felt unbearably lost, I found myself waking up early and driving to a church near me. I had no intention of doing this, it just happened and it’s changed my life in so many ways. In 2020, I hope to share my faith story but I haven’t had the courage to do so quite yet. In finding my way this last year, I was welcomed with love and open arms. I attended a small group class, volunteered regularly, joined a grow group, and met truly wonderful followers in Christ both in and outside of the church I attend. I don’t know when I’ll put my Faith Story into words but when I do, it’ll live here.
  5. Concerts! I added Taking Back Sunday, Robert DeLong, LovelyTheBand, Flora Cash, Post Malone, Swae Lee, and Tyla Yaweh to my ever-growing list of “have seen” artists! Posty was the first concert that I attended completely alone. #yearoffirsts
  6. North Shore! OMG, you guys. While this might have seemed minuscule to some, this first regional solo trip was life-changing for me and set into motion something big later in the year. I was really struggling with some things during this time and very spur of the moment changed my plans from camping with my aunts family for a week to embarking on a self-reflection journey for a few days in solitude. I chronicled it via insta and then shared it here.
  7. Celebrated Love! My brother got engaged this year! I felt so honored that he asked me to capture this special moment and even more honored to be asked to be their Maid of Honor. An old friend from my daycare days also shared news of her engagement last spring and I can’t wait to celebrate with them this fall! My cousin is expecting her first little bundle of cuteness and my aunt moved her whole life to another city and is loving it! My youngest brother continues to make me a proud big sister as he continues to grow into the best father Emma could ever hope for. There was so much love this year, so much that I can’t even remember it all.
  8. That Camp Life! I attended two big Unglued events this year; a sleepover adult SUMMER CAMP (say what!) and day-long Fall Retreat! Both all by my lonesome BUT between the two, I met some really cool, kickass peeps. I built myself a blanket ladder, learned how to play the uke, got crafty AF, and found a beer I was actually into. I also may or may not have even dressed up and danced all my worries away in a barn wearing a bright blue wig looking like something magical.
  9. The People! In 2019, not only did I meet more people from more walks of life than ever before but I formed some really cool friendships with people that I only “kinda knew” in years past. Going to church turned into meeting so many wonderful people that are now pillars of strength and mentors in my life. Co-workers turned into important people that I spend time with outside of the regular 8-5. I went on dates; I went on some really bad dates and some really funny ones, too. I reconnected with old friends and best friends from another life. I met and visited with complete strangers in Arizona and Grand Marais and [spoiler] Iceland! 2019 had so many cool people, yo.
  10. Self Care: Ya girl treated herself in 2019. Facials and a regular at-home mask sesh, took myself to church, practiced app-guided meditation like a BOSS, took vitamins on a semi-reg basis, started getting my nails did. (Insert cute high-five girl emoji here.)
  11. State Fair + Apples: Because who doesn’t like either of those? I love everything State Fair and while my brother and his boo aren’t fans like I am (Crowds, heat, long lines, the smell of manure.. What’s not to love?), they still indulged me and agreed to make a weekend of it. We stopped at a neat little orchard that too and took a wagon ride through the woods like one does.
  12. Tattoo: It finally happened. After 11 years of indecisiveness, I finally did it.
  13. Turned 30! I have been flopping between wondering what happened to my 20’s and being so excited for this next decade. Currently: So excited. Also, I wrote something cool about turning 30. Check it out here.
  14. Got a New Job! Same company, new position. I learned a lot this year in the power of advocating for yourself and sticking to your guns; for believing that I was capable of great change in a company that I’m passionate about being a part of its future self. Plus, I finally got to fly in the company plane this year. So that was totes cool.
  15. Iceland! I really am at a loss for words. Trying to describe something so transformative to my life is difficult in the best ways. To the point even, that I owe myself three days worth of unbelievable moments left to transcribe. (I should get on that.) This was my first experience with group travel, my first time in Iceland, and my first time traveling alone abroad. I literally cannot wait until my next adventure! The days that I have detailed can be found here. The others will be up as soon as I stop procrastinating. 🙂
  16. Kittens: Bodhi is the best love bug snuggle bear any girl could wish for and we celebrated Agnes’ “got ya” day in December. I can’t imagine a life without cats in it. And that is a very objective, unbiased statement.
  17. Everything Emma: Need I say more? I could go on for days but I’ll save most of it for the book I’m sure I’ll write about her one day. Emma has a heart so big it makes my own nearly burst. She is such a goofball and so bright. I know everyone says it about the little’s in their lives but she really is going to change the world. I’d bet on it.
  18. Prayed Hard: A year of greats isn’t without sadness and anxiety. On the health front, a friend found himself in the hospital, both of my grandma’s are really feeling their age this year; I spent New Year’s Eve with my aunt and ungle along side my grandma pre and post-surgery for a broken arm among other things. My former boss and now co-worker has a son that suffered serious trauma recently; a young boy in our community died. All of this in 2019. Those are just the ingredients in my 2019 prayer cake. It’s also filled to the brim with so many blessing from those in my life that I care about and love.
  19. Self-Worth: This is tough one but one that I try to make an effort to improve upon every day that I can. It’s hard to grasp what self-worth should be or how to truly obtain it. To me, it’s a thing you see in movies like a great romance or a wizarding world of broomsticks and spells; it’s just a fairy-tale, to love yourself. I’ve very slowly, like snail-pace slowly, been working on my “you’re worth it” mantra and really evaluating the things that make me worth the friendship or the early morning coffee date or the relationship or the pamper yo’ self night or the ‘buy that purse because it looks cute’ splurge. I’ll get there, because I’m worth it. 😉

Okay, there you have it. The nineteen most impactful “somethings” from my 2019. I have a lot of really great things planned for this next year and for the first time in my LIFE, I followed through on nearly all of my goals this last year. I surprised myself more than once, did more than I had ever expected to, and grew in ways that I didn’t know I was capable of.

If I can give any advice for anyone reading this and questioning their 2020, my mom has always reminded me of this: Let go and let God.

Day 1: That airport life, though.

It’s nearly 5:00 PM and I’m at gate M20, terminal 5 in O’Hare. I’m tired and I’m hot. Why is it every time I visit O’Hare (this is only time numero dos), I have to walk thirty thousand miles? Gate M20 is the last M-gate at the end of a marathon length hallway with nothing to eat or drink. The struggle! But it’s whatever dude, I’m almost to Iceland.

YES. ICE ICE, BABY. I can’t believe it either.

On my trek back towards M-something-that-is-not-20 but basically at the beginning, I ran into this really cool couple. They were cool because they were wearing a light blue, almost periwinkle Schrute Farms sweatshirt. Why is that cool? Because I’m wearing the SAME exact sweatshirt. We have a club now.

I’ve also met a few people on my tour. Sue and Jim, they’ve been everywhere, man. I’m not kidding. Paris, Australia, New Zeland, Kenya, Egypt, China.. you name it. Oh Hawaii too; Greece next year. Sue doesn’t stop talking. Jim doesn’t talk.

I also met a chick named Valerie. I spotted her Go Ahead tag about 20 minutes ago but I didn’t know which level of creep was acceptable. Eventually Sue and Jim found her too and they connected the four of us.

That’s about all for now. I don’t know how much writing I’ll get done on this solo adventure. I received two travel journals as birthday gifts this year so I’ve packed one along. I have a feeling I’ll be writing in that and transcribing my ramblings into a blog format when I get time after returning home. I’m trying this really foreign thing called living in the moment. It’s pretty cool.

We board IcelandAir in about an hour or so. I’m going to catch up on an Elevation Podcast and re-fill my water bottle. Bless (bye in Icelandic).

Thirty.

Thank you for all of the calls, texts, Happy Birthday songs, posts, gigantic balloons, and love this last week and weekend! The world sure knows how to help a girl ring in 30 with style.

Last year, I made a promise to myself to let 29 be the best year yet and on a rare occasion, I saw that promise to myself come to fruition. I checked off another state on my bucket list traveling with my mom to Arizona and watching the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. I embarked on my first solo trip up the North Shore and took the most beautiful photos, if I do say so myself. I joined community events, took all the classes I could to feed my creative needs, and found adventure often on my own because I decided some time ago that didn’t need to always wait for someone else to be interested in things.

I strengthened relationships with those I love and because of that get to stand next to my future sister when she marries one of the best men in this world (my brother)! I went to plays and concerts and a ballet. I brought Bodhi home a little sister kitten and we named her Agnes.

This year I found my home church and in it, a passionate community filled to the brim with sunshine I didn’t know existed. I advocated for myself in my career, I went to sleepover summer camp, and I went on some weird dates but I also found out that you find genuinely good people, turned friends, in the places you’d least expect it.

To really send my 20’s the best of farewells and with the inspiration from a beautiful soul I met this year, I started an adventure journal a little more than 30 days ago. Each day leading up to my birthday, I did something new. Some days were small like a new gold eye mask, some days were life changing and some, humbling. I plan to continue my adventues moving into year 30, but on a weekly basis. Doing something new every single day is harder than you’d think!

Before I share my top 9 (because Nov. 9, duh), if you’ve made it this far in my ramble, I hope you’re living your best year yet and if you’re not, you deserve to be.

If I’ve learned anything in life this far, I know that I was always the only person ever holding myself back from happiness. You have to choose it daily. I used to (and sometimes still do) let people determine my mood and my choices. Some days will suck but that doesn’t mean weeks or months or years have to. You’re more kickass than you give yourself credit for! Remember that.

And to ground this post a bit when it might be sounding too peachy keen for those that forget we’re all guilty of a filtered social media life: I have had a lot of shit days in the last year (and decade) too. I lost friendships I thought I’d have forever and I still haven’t lost weight. Honestly, I’ve gained even more. I’ve had my heart broken and I struggle with bouts of anxiety especially when trying something new. Sometimes I can’t look at myself in the mirror because I can’t find a single thing to love. I get sad when everyone I know shares photos of thier beautifully blessed growing families and I’m afraid I’ll never find love in the ‘swipe right’ world we live in. But I do my best not to let all the stuff that bums me out determine my quality of life. Because deep down, I know that I’m so worth it and guess what? You’re so worth it too.

Okay, here my top 9 favorite things of that last 30+ days:

  • Joined a Grow Group at church.
  • Got my first tattoo!
  • Learned how to quill.
  • Went to a Sound Bath Meditation class.
  • Bought lunch for the person behind me in line.
  • Took pole dancing classes!
  • Learned how to play the ukulele!
  • Bought someone flowers “Just Because.”
  • Surprised one of my oldest friends for her birthday!

Thank you again to every single person that has cheered me on this year. You’ve impacted and influenced my life more than I can express and I’m grateful. Here’s to the next 365+ days! I’m excited, God is good, and laughter solves most everything. ♥️

#Last90Days but like, my style.

So, to preface.. I know that Rachel Hollis/her cool hubby, Dave/The Hollis Co have a #Last90Days challenge. Did it start last year? Or is last year when all the people jumped on the badwagon? Either way, I was slow to the knowledge roll and didn’t get on board mostly because I didn’t hear about it until the end of October last year. Where was I? I couldn’t tell you. But I’ve heard of it. I know minimal information about it and I think it’s awesome that people are raving about their #Last90Days.

This year has come and just about gone too. But I’m not going to do the #Last90Days challenge because I don’t want to just do it because everyone else is doing it. I’ve been a follower more often than I’d like to admit in my life thus far. However, I am nearing age 30 here in a few weeks, November 9th to be exact, and I want to do something to wish my 20’s farewell and start off this next decade feeling like a million bucks, or close to it. My 20’s have been rough and while I’ve made a lot of progress over the last couple of years, a lot of this decade is overshadowed by sadness and not good feels. I want to change that before it’s too late.

I have a 30 before 30 list. Actually, I have a 90 before 30 list because I’m an overacheiever. (Or underahicever? Because I haven’t acutally competed my 90 before 30.) Backing up, in case you’re wondering why I have 90 before 30, let me fill you in on all that is Ori. I am SO indeciesive. LIKE. SO. INDECIDISVE. I can’t even pick out a super cute poof that I’ve had my eye on from Wayfair because I can’t decide if I want light pink or light blue (both match my rug) or if I want a round poof or a square one. Can someone pick for me, plz? This is why I enjoy exchanging Christmas gifts/lists because I can see something that reminds me of someone else and purchase it no problem but when it comes to myself? I can’t ever make a deicison.

So, ramble aside.. 90 before 30, what? I have a 30 before 30 for “Travel,” a 30 before 30 for “Lifestyle,” and a 30 before 30 for “Other/Hobbies.” Did your eyes get big? Mine did writing that. I know, forgive me, I’m aware of my obsessive list-like nature to control everything. I made this master 90 before 30 list about a year and a half ago, after a near decade long relationship ended. I forced myself to put my actual life in the front and center, THE STAGE IS YOURS GIRLFRIEND spotlight. 90 pretty hefty lifts in less then 2 years was stupid unattainable even if I had the means nessisary but whatevs. I know if I review my entire adult life as a whole, I should be impressed. I’ve crossed off far more things than I give myself credit for. I’ve crossed off things not even on my list and I’ve crossed off things I didn’t think I could.

I’m a badass. (And so are you, boo.)

This post is getting away from me already. What I’ve been thinking about doing is launching a “30 before 30” challenge for myself. 30 adventures or challenges or new things; cool things; something! 30 days of doing things that improve my life for the 30 days leading up to my birthday. BUT because I initially created a 90 before 30 bucket list and I keep hearing about this last 90 days of the year hoopla, why not combine the two?

So, I introduce you to: Last 90 days, but like, my style.

I’m not sold on the name but I’m rolling with it. I’ve already done so many AMAZING life-changing things and have so much more planned for the rest of the year. I don’t want to just zone in on the 30 days before my birthday and enter the new “birth” year without intentionally improving my life. That seems a little morbid. I’m constantly working on myself to improve my life but it’s just like the New Year; we get so excited for the New Year, we make lists and resolutions. We have all these dreams but how many of us give up by day 5? I don’t want to be feeling “meh” 5 days after I turn 30!

I want to start now. I want to live intentionally every single day. I want to start checking things off my stupid long lists. Lists that extend far beyond 90 and lists that I haven’t even written yet. I want to improve myself inside and out; mind, body and soul. I want to do things that freak me out a little like face my fears and call a therapist. I want to do things that I’m too ignorant to understand, like volunteer at a homeless shelter or provide food to those in need. I want to learn how to play the ukulele and declutter my closet and buy myself some GD flowers. I want to give blood and buy someone a nice dinner. I want to grow and lead my life with intention and purpose. I want to feel good about helping and giving; I want to continue to accept myself for who I am; to channel Lizzo’s #badassbitch vibes when I start body-shaming myself.

So, fuck it. I’ma do it. I might fail but I might not. How cool would it be if I can kick the last few weeks of my 20’s in the rear end like a sexy little booty slap on the ass rather than a whoopin’? AND welcome my 30’s feeling like I can achieve anything and everything I set my mind to? Old year, improving me; New year, even better me.