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Last weekend, I celebrated my 25th birthday with my family all in town! I admittedly had been dreading this milestone. I couldn’t help but feel like somewhat of a failure because 5 years ago, I thought I’d be more “successful” by 25. I eventually told myself that I was good enough and that I’d put in work and overcome a lot of things that are worth celebrating as successes.

We celebrated me and my dad’s birthday with steamed crabs and seafood, and a perfect sugar plum cake! I capped off my night by meeting a local celebrity at dinner (almost had a meltdown) and sailing with friends down the Elizabeth River.

I spent the rest of my vacation time soaking in time with my siblings and nephew who traveled from opposite ends of the country to come home, and squeezed in some pampering time too! I treated myself to some new activewear and tapas at Still in Old Town Portsmouth. The time away from work was very much needed, and I feel energized for all the things I want to accomplish this year. I’ve compiled 25 things I’m looking forward to/goals I’ve set for my 25th year! Take a look:

  1. Learn Spanish
  2. Get married!
  3. Bake a cheesecake
  4. Read more books on my bookshelf
  5. Visit California
  6. Bike more
  7. Practice yoga daily
  8. Attempt homemade ice cream
  9. Blog regularly
  10. Use my camera more often
  11. Aquire more houseplants
  12. Finish up all grad school work
  13. Continue my curly hair journey
  14. Become a morning person
  15. Play more video games
  16. More walks with my dog
  17. Shop and live more sustainably for the environment
  18. Discover more music
  19. Watch more new movies
  20. Explore outside more
  21. Become more frugal
  22. Continue building my credit score
  23. Drink more water
  24. Find volunteer opportunities
  25. Cultivate more self-worth and positivity

Excited to get started on these goals and tasks, and reveling in the fact that I’m here in this 25th year!

Journal

Hello Summer

Hello! It’s me again, after a whirlwind of a life since December. A life update is better late than never. A brief recap of all of the craziness from the last six months:

  • Daniel successfully recovered from his pulmonary valve replacement. We had a lot of healthy meals and bundled up winter walks to get his strength back. He was well enough to celebrate the New Year at a surrealist themed party at O’Connor Brewery and we spent the first day of the New Year being thankful to be together in our home, and having sushi!
  • We started wedding planning! Probably the biggest test to our relationship has been planning and finalizing a concept for our wedding. I really worked on my compromising and listening skills to get to a good place where I actually enjoyed working on our wedding. At first, I was totally against spending money and having lots of guests. We changed the location several times. But now we have our venue, coordinator, and photographer booked! I enjoy working on the details and cannot wait to put on my dream dress and marry my best friend.
  • I crashed my car…the lack of ABS struck again and I had to say goodbye to my little Mazda (RIP Sailor Mars). Thankfully no one was hurt, and my car still ran okay enough to get me to and from work. I wasn’t planning on buying a car until I had enough saved up at the end of this year, but life doesn’t work that way and now I have the cutest Civic that I have named T’Civic (#wakandaforever).
  • Daniel’s car broke. Seriously, 2018 was the year to buy a car.
  • I chopped my hair off! I decided that this was the year to fully embrace my curls. I constantly made the excuse that I didn’t know what to do with my curly hair and that straightening it was just so much easier. My hair was so damaged from applying heat for about 9 years that it no longer had any curl to it. After lots of encouragement from my friend Amira, I put in the work to learn about curly hair and this January, I got my first DevaCut. My hair had such a transformation and I was in shock that my hair could be curly again. I’ve learn to love my natural hair texture and volume, and I still love straight hair, but I love having healthy hair even more.

With all of the life changes I went through, I always wanted to come back to blogging but life kept getting in the way. It also kept getting in the way of school things I still need to tie up, and I’ve noticed that it’s a big source of anxiety right now. I’ve been stumped on things I need to do for myself. I’ve focused so much on showing up for other people that I’ve failed to fulfill commitments I made to myself. And that feeling has been so overwhelming lately. Time has been this weird thing that I use against myself for not doing more every day and punishing myself for watching it pass by.

It took a lot of boundary pushing for me to realize it’s okay to not meet all the expectations for you set for yourself, as long as you remember that you set those expectations in the first place for a reason. After lots of change, I’m back to starting to feel like myself again, and ready to tackle my things in the way I used to: by doing what I can with what I have, not being afraid to ask for help, and to keep a positive attitude above everything.

Recently, I’ve made new connections and friendships that are really exciting to me! I’ve found it difficult to make new friends after college since a lot of my close friends moved away to start their adult lives and everyone is on such different schedules. So it’s been challenging to meet new people who want to do the same fun things I like, but it’s finally happening! I’ve been to wine fest, spontaneous hangouts on weeknights, making dinners for new friends, and I finally was inspired to start up yoga again from an invite I didn’t realize how badly I needed. So that being said, life has been on the up! Despite battles with anxiety, I feel that I am the happiest I have ever been.

I am working on completing my tasks I’ve set for myself, enjoying every step of the wedding process, working on my new friendships and my old ones, setting time for myself to practice yoga, and becoming a better morning person! These feel like attainable goals to set before my 24th year comes to a close next weekend. Happy weekend!

Journal

Saturday in Smithfield!

I’m back! There’s been a lot of good changes going on in my life, and while they’ve been good, they’ve made me extremely busy. After the proposal, I got busy finding (and landing) a job, and looking for our first apartment together (which I someday hope to write about). It’s been a busy, but productive few months as I’ve been settling into my new life, and I highly discourage moving and starting a new job at the same time unless you like living in insanity.

Moving on, today, Daniel and I finally got the chance to check out the Farmers and Christmas market in Smithfield, which is about 30 minutes from our apartment. The drive was scenic enough for a cloudy day, with a few good bridges and waterfront properties to admire. Continue Reading

Lifestyle

I Said ‘Yes!’/’Si!’

Last Friday, I went out for what I thought was going to just be a celebratory date night for the end of a crazy summer, and turned out to be my engagment night and celebration! Daniel and I planned on hitting up my favorite happy hour downtown so I could get my raw oyster fix. Afterwards, we headed to the Pagoda (my favorite spot in Norfolk) so that he could play his guitar and record some music. But when he opened the guitar case, there was no guitar, and he pulled out a teddy bear. When he instructed me to squeeze the paw, his voice rang out “Will you marry me?” Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Weekend Refresh

Sometimes, after a long week of stress, deadlines, and never ending to-do lists, you need a few days to chill out, eat your feelings, and start over. Well, that’s exactly what I did this weekend with Daniel.

On Saturday, we spent most of the morning waiting for the rain to die out and binging Better Call Saul. When we finally decided to get out of the apartment, we headed to Commune near downtown. I’ve been to the Oceanfront location, but it was my first time eating at the Nofolk location. It was formly Work Release, but it now works as a large, bright, and spacious spot for great farm to table dining.
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