Every New Years Eve, I enjoy making goals for myself. I’m a big picture kind of gal, so I like to start with the vision of who I’d like to be at the end of the year and I work backwards from there.
This year, I turn a quarter of a century old. I’m not obsessing about it or checking for gray hairs in the mirror. I’m not lamenting the fact that I’m not married. Instead, I’m looking forward to year 25 with great anticipation. I’m looking forward to a new chapter of life.
Here are my Top 10 things I am resolved to do in 2014:
1. Get serious about my faith and prayer life
When I look at my life thus far, I know that I am where I am together because of God, His mercy, and His favor in my life. I want to challenge myself to live more fully for Him, myself, and for others. I often struggle with my prayer life and reading my Bible more regularly, but I’m pushing myself to do it because I know it changes your walk and your talk.
2. Travel (at least one overseas trip)
I want to go see the world. Ever since I started working, I’ve been saving for a big trip. I’m not sure where and I’m pretty open to different countries and cultures. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia (just saying). I will definitely be traveling next year, so if you need a travel buddy, just tell me when and where and we’ll make it happen.
3. Learn (5) new dishes
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a great cook. I can follow a recipe with no problem, but I’m not an instinctive cook. I had some rough days with unseasoned chicken and bland food. I’m tired of eating poorly because I don’t know how to cook. My goal for next year is to learn how to cook 5 signature dishes without the help of a recipe book. American, Nigerian, Jamaican, whatever. I just want to make food.
4. More adventures
I am an undercover adrenaline junky. I see things like jumping out of an airplane and I think of how thrilling that would be. I’d be 10% scared and 90% excited. Most of the time, I get over the little bit of fear that I have inside and go for the big jump. In the past, I’ve let convenience or cost deter me from potential adventure. No more of that. My new motto is “Pay for experiences, not things.”
5. Take a REAL vacation
I mentioned in a previous post that I’d like to take more vacations and have more “me” time. I mean the kind of vacation where I leave my laptop at home, grab my carry-on luggage and hop on a plane without a backward glance. I actually wouldn’t mind a cross-country road trip. Perhaps go see some old friends in London. Maybe even cross the border into either Canada or Mexico. Or explore Cape Town with Toni. No matter where I go for Spring Break or for vacation, it will be epic!
6. Get an awesome summer internship
I am looking for an opportunity that will allow me to experience new things and grow as an individual. I want to be inspired. I want to make things. I want to get my DIY mojo back. I refuse to subject myself to a 9-to-5 where I am answering phones or getting coffee. It’s not that I am too good for such things, but at this point in my life I am ready for something more substantial.
7. Be a better friend/sister/daughter
I am noticing that I am starting to lose touch with some of my old friends. I sometimes feel like I don’t know them anymore. All we have in common now are our memories of the good times in college. We don’t call each other or text each other so I never hear from there until I come home for the holidays. But that has to change. I have decided that I am actually quite fond of my old friends and I’d actually like to have them around when I get older. I can’t be the one waiting for the phone to ring, I need to take the first step and reach out. It only takes one good conversation to start or rekindle a friendship.
8. Legitimize Style Lottery
I launched my nonprofit, Style Lottery, in Fall 2013. I want to build a team of passionate volunteers who can assist me in helping over 15 women next year. I’m excited to see how this organization will grow and step up to fulfill the needs of women in low-income communities.
9. Define my personal brand
For someone like me who is always changing the way she looks, it’s going to be hard for me to not totally reinvent myself like I always do. I have found a look and a style that I really like. I call it the “Professoriate” look. It makes me look like an adjunct professor: colored pants, loafers, tortoise shell glasses, cardigans, and blazers. I’m going to stick with this look (at least while I’m in graduate school. I’m starting to realize that my quirks are also part of my personal brand. My obsession with fine point and felt tip pens, mini notebooks, and planners are a large part of who I am. My shoulder length locs. I’m embracing it all. It’s my brand. You’ll know me when you see me.
10. Have an epic 25th birthday party
I’m going all out. A party with balloons, a cake with sparkler candles, a pinata, and a dance floor– that’s all I want. My last birthday was a bit of a bust. I had an extensive birthday week planned out and then I went and caught a serious cold that knocked me out for the whole weekend. Somewhere deep inside me, the little girl in me wants someone to throw me a surprise party. I love surprises! No matter if I have to throw it myself, I will have a blast.
In this coming year, I want my life to be more about quality and less about quantity. The other day, I was sitting in my room and looked around to find that I had a lot of stuff. Nothing substantial, just items (clothes I no longer wear, online purchases, etc) taking up space. I have a growing aversion for hoarding unnecessary things, so I just started packing up things and giving them away. Thankfully, my nonprofit is the solution to my problem. I love meeting the women that Style Lottery gives to. I’m excited that God has given me this opportunity use my love for fashion to help others.