Today I am no longer 21, the age that is known for being young, alive, and exciting. Since September 1st is my birthday, I am now 22. Of course, one day does not seem to make a huge difference. However, on each of my birthdays, I tend to feel several years older. Although I love celebrating the day, I also feel anxious about growing up. Also, I enjoy having people acknowledge my life but I feel guilty about all of the attention. So birthdays leave me with mixed emotions.
This past year, I grew a great deal. Looking back, I realize how far I have come in many areas. No, I do not meet my entire meal plan but I climbed out of the relapse in anorexia I had last summer. After being admitted into the hospital in December and doing day-treatment for depression, hope has appeared in my life for the first time in years. Instead of stuffing down my emotions, I am beginning to allow myself to experience anger, sorrow, confusion, and happiness. Blogging daily, participating in Toastmasters, and hanging out with friends more often have been huge steps toward interacting with others and learning social skills. Traveling overseas helped me to fulfill a lifelong dream and gave me courage to keep seeking a better life. Thus, there have been a lot of great accomplishments in my 21st year of life.
Yet, there are still many areas for me to continue to grow to be stronger mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, and academically. 22 seems like such a weird number. I feel like this is the time when I should have just finished college and be out looking for a job. Being in school still and looking at around two more years of studying has discouraged me. However, I remind myself that everyone goes through life at a different pace. Mine might be slower than others but that does not make it bad. I simply have to do the best I can with the help of my faith, family, friends, and care team. One day, I will graduate. Until then, I am working to be healthier, happier, and wiser.
So, I decided to write a list of a few goals that I have for this coming year. Normally, when I make lists, I add a few items that motivate me but I never expect to take place. However, I decided upon these goals because they are all realistic. Although they might be difficult and will stretch me, these dreams can certainly take place if I work hard at them.
Goals and hopes for my 22nd year of life (September 1 2013 – September 1 2014):
- Travel either with a school trip or study abroad
- Write at least 10 poems, short stories, memories, novels, etc.
- Audition for and act in a show
- Get in 100% of my meal plan at least one day
- No SIB for at least 3 months in a row
- Receive highest honors on the Dean’s List
- Become a CL (Competent Leader) in Toastmasters
- Start to help other students struggling with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc. at my university
- Finish my scrapbook of my trip to England
- Start to fill up gas in the car by myself
There’s my list! This certainly doesn’t encompass all of the things that I wish to accomplish in the coming year. However, these goals are some of the main ones I have thought of so far. So, I am hoping that I can have another year, even better than last year. There will be many struggles and discouragements but hopefully victories and joys will be more numerous!