My 23

I recently stumbled upon an article that several of my Facebook friends had shared, titled “23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23.”  In her post, author Vanessa Elizabeth included items like “Make out with a stranger,” “Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face,” “Hangout naked in front of a window,” and my personal favorite “Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage.” Not only did these items leave me open-mouthed, staring at my screen in disbelief, but the emotion that they stirred up in me led me to completely discredit some of the core ideas behind her other list items, like traveling the world, finding your “thing,” personal expression, and self-confidence.

Personally, having done one of the aforementioned items (and no, it wasn’t hanging out naked in front of a window), I can say with full certainty that it was self-destructive, self-denigrating, and it more than blew up in my face. It almost blew apart my life. So yes, I was quick to judge Miss Elizabeth . . .

That being said, a good friend of mine was quick to remind me that the “list thing” is very popular within the blogging community right now, and added a “To each their own, man.” Sometimes, it can be way too easy to criticize someone without putting yourself in their shoes.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, my list of “23 things to do . . . Before turning 23,” because with the new year comes the scary realization that I will be 23 just more than one year from now.

  1. Graduate from college with my useless Political Science, Pre-Law degree. (Which I will spend the rest of my life explaining to people, especially when I become the pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon that I know I am meant to be)
  2. Move out of the LBC. It’s been a good two years, but I’ll leave this one to Snoop. 
  3. Don’t move back to Bakersfield. It will always be my hometown, and that’s enough for me.
  4. Run a half marathon. Why not a full marathon, you ask? Well, no. Just no. Not yet. Maybe before I’m 24. 
  5. Renew my passport. After all, I don’t think my expired passport will get me very far when I go to travel to Puebla during spring break. 
  6. Hike the Hollywood sign trail. Just not at night . . .
  7. Go wine tasting. Paso Robles, anyone?
  8. Get a medical assisting job at a place that you love going to every day.
  9. Become a morning person. I don’t think I’ve seen the sunrise (on purpose) since freshman year of college.
  10. Go to the Ellen show.
  11. Stop judging. Just stop. It doesn’t lead to a better life. 
  12. Go to church more often.
  13. Read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
  14. Volunteer. I may not be at the point in my life where I am able to join the Peace Cops (a wonderful thing to do, and a list item to commend, Miss Elizabeth), that shall not stop me from doing my part here in my own community.
  15. Get to know your little sister. And not just know her name, friends, and hobbies . . . Treat her like the best friend that she will be for the rest of your life, your future MOH, and do everything possible to make her life more beautiful.
  16. Get over your irrational fear of feet. It’s silly, and quite embarrassing, but I promise you, it is very real.
  17. Las Vegas. GO. You’re turning 22 in one month, and you still haven’t gone. It’s sad, really. 
  18. Cohabitation after graduation. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, it’s the 21st century. 
  19. Travel to another continent. Preferably Europe, but anything will do. 
  20. Buy a car. Even if has no A/C, no power steering, and a manual transmission, it will be YOURS. 
  21. Become self-sufficient. Yes. That means no more car insurance help from Mom and Dad, and paying for your own cellphone bill. I mean, come on, you couldn’t expect them to do that forever, could you?
  22. Go to a Patriots game. Preferably to one where they win. 
  23. Buy a designer watch or a pair of shoes. After all, I’m still a girl. 

A.A.G.

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