A Reflection on 23, A Vision for 24

I hate the phrase “another year has come and gone.”  At some level I get it: time is the ultimate perpetual motion machine, it’s a turning wheel, it comes and then it is gone.  But I hate to seem so passive in the (no pun intended) passage of time.

Nevertheless, here we are.  It’s October 9th again.  Another year has come and (sigh) gone.  I was 23, and now I’m 24.


This past year, my 23rd year, was absolutely the best and hardest year of my life.  I’ve been saying that every year for a while now—for the past five years, life has only gotten better and harder.  I tend to think those things go together, and I suppose that means I’m doing something right.

I used to be terrified about the passing of time.  It was my largest source of anxiety, causing regular panic attacks around birthdays and new years.  But as I gained more control over my life (and my time-management habits), the fear faded.  The passing of time excites me now, because I have something to show for it.


A brief overview of why 23 was great:
-I had just gotten married!
-I was living in China and had the opportunity to travel
-I was working a fairly fulfilling job with good pay and great hours
-I went vegan
-I learned how to take care of myself, from learning to cook to learning to exercise and the true meaning of self-care
-I went camping in California for several weeks
-I spent nearly a month enjoying the mountains and legal weed in Colorado

And a brief overview of why 23 was hard as hell:
-I was living in China with virtually no knowledge of the language
-I quit Adderall for good, which is great now that I’m on the other side of it but caused the hardest and most depressing months of my life (they really don’t tell you what you’re getting into when they prescribe that drug!)
-I had to learn to take care of myself, from learning to cook to learning to exercise and the true meaning of self-care
-I had a gnarly case of writer’s block that lasted from college graduation in May 2015 (when I was 22) all the way till July 2016


I entered 23 overwhelmed, a little scared, and pretty incompetent.  I leave 23 amazed at how far I’ve come, more than just competent in every area of my life that matters, still overwhelmed, but loving it now.  The big steps I’ve taken have allowed me to make even bigger plans for the future.  And I’m motivated as hell.

My 24th birthday couldn’t have come at a better time.  I have a five-year plan, and I know exactly what I need to do to get through it.  I realized earlier this week that the learning-how-to-human phase of my life is over, and I’m entering a new phase: the go-getter phase.  And I’m so ready for it.  I’m so ready for 24.


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